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What is Glaucoma?

By admin – September 21, 2019

Over time, many people will become more susceptible to certain eye diseases, including glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when pressure in the eye rises, and it can often lead to decreased vision and even blindness. With more than 200,000 cases reported each year, it is one of the most common eye problems in the world. If you are wondering what glaucoma is, here’s everything you need to know.

GLAUCOMA TYPES AND SYMPTOMS

There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle and closed-angle.

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common of the two types and occurs when the eye is unable to drain fluid properly. Because of this, the pressure in the eyes builds and causes damage to the optic nerve.

Typically, symptoms for this type of glaucoma are minor and often go unnoticed, especially in its early stages. Eventually, however, those with open-angle glaucoma will experience changes in overall vision, loss of peripheral vision, and even blindness.

The best way to avoid this is to schedule routine eye doctor appointments.

Closed-angle glaucoma happens when the angle between the iris and cornea is too narrow and blocks fluid from draining from the eye. This causes the pressure to rise quickly and results in more noticeable symptoms than those experienced with open-angle glaucoma.

Early signs of closed-angle glaucoma are quite severe. With that said, if you notice the following symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately to avoid additional optic nerve and vision damage.

  • Eye pain and severe headaches
  • Sudden changes in overall eyesight
  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Nausea or vomiting due to eye pain and headaches

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Everyone has a risk of getting glaucoma, but those with certain risk factors may have an even higher chance of developing the disease.

Here are some risk factors that can heighten your chances of getting glaucoma:

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Diabetes, migraines, or poor blood circulation
  • Thinning optic nerve
  • Thin corneas
  • Previous eye injuries

DIAGNOSING GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma is diagnosed with a comprehensive dilated eye exam during routine eye doctor appointments. Your eye doctor will measure the pressure in each eye and the drainage angle. They will also check the optic nerve for damage and test your peripheral vision.

If early signs of glaucoma are spotted, the doctor will administer the appropriate treatment to save your vision and ensure proper eye health.

HOW TO TREAT GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma is an incurable disease, but there are treatments available that can help slow its progression. One of the most common ways to treat glaucoma is with special eye drops prescribed by a doctor.

These drops should be taken every day because they help drain fluid from the eye through the drainage angle between the cornea and the iris. They also assist in regulating the amount of fluid produced in the eye which helps alleviate pressure and preserve vision.

Surgical treatments are available for those with more severe cases of glaucoma. Some of these procedures include laser peripheral iridotomy, selective laser trabeculoplasty, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.

Kremer Eye Center also offers iStent, an innovative glaucoma treatment that opens a bypass through the clogged drain in the eye to alleviate and control pressure. To learn more about this cutting-edge treatment, check out this article from CBS Philadelphia.

Glaucoma is one of the most severe and common eye diseases in the region. While it cannot be cured, early detection and treatment can make it possible to reduce its progression and save your vision.

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