Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. It is the optic nerve that sends signals from your retina to your brain, where these signals are interpreted as the images you see.
Vision loss from glaucoma results from deterioration of the optic nerve, often associated with high eye pressure, leading to irreversible loss of the field of vision.
Over 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma, and it is also the leading cause of preventable blindness. Regular eye exams are key in diagnosing glaucoma, because patients often do not experience any symptoms until irreversible vision loss has already occurred.
Unlike many other eye diseases, most types of glaucoma are chronic disorders than can be controlled but not cured. As with diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, or arthritis, glaucoma can require some lifestyle modifications. This includes compliance with medical regimens and regular eye exams to achieve successful treatment.
Those at Risk for Glaucoma
People at risk for Glaucoma include:
- Individuals over 40
- African-Americans 35 and older
- People with a family history of the disease
- Extremely near-sighted individuals
- Long-term steroid users
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Unfortunately, Glaucoma rarely has symptoms that can warn you that something is wrong. Glaucoma is often called “the silent thief of sight” since it usually doesn’t hurt and can steal the vision very slowly. Most people notice vision loss from glaucoma only after significant damage has already taken place. Gradual loss of vision can occur over a period of weeks, months, or years before you even realize that you are losing your vision. The good news is, advanced diagnostic equipment can help detect glaucoma before you experience symptoms and the problem can be addressed very early. For many, glaucoma can be managed without surgery, and with proper treatment, most patients can expect to see well their entire life. New Eyes doctors are very experienced in treating glaucoma and are committed to saving your vision.
Causes of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is often caused by increased pressure in the eye; however, this is not always the case. Some patients experience normal pressures and still develop the disease. It is imperative that patients be checked for glaucoma on a routine basis to ensure early detection. Click on the illustration at left to view the development of glaucoma.
Glaucoma Diagnostic Testing
Our eye doctors can diagnose glaucoma with a comfortable screening here at our practice. We can measure eye pressure, test your side vision, and evaluate the health of your optic nerve to see if the internal symptoms of glaucoma are present.
There is no cure for glaucoma, but the right treatment approach will reduce intraocular pressure to prevent damage to the optic nerve and mitigate vision loss. At New Eyes, we take a comprehensive approach to glaucoma and offer a range of treatment options. Possible treatments include medicated eye drops, laser treatments, and Minimally-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS). Learn more about glaucoma treatment options here.
Glaucoma: Treatment Overview
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Glaucoma. The doctors at New Eyes would happy to personally and thoroughly answer any inquiries you may have. Contact us today if you’d like to meet with one of our experts.
Everything patients need to know about Glaucoma with New Eyes Expert, Dr. Jeffrey Austin
How do I know which glaucoma treatment I should undergo?
When should I check if I have glaucoma?
Is there only one type of glaucoma?
What happens if I don’t treat my glaucoma?
Please contact New Eyes for more information on glaucoma, or to schedule an appointment for diagnosis and/or treatment for the condition. Please remember that glaucoma is a progressive condition and early detection and treatment is crucial for the health of your vision.