Glaucoma is a serious disease of the eye. It occurs when the pressure in your eyes build up, causing permanent damage to the optic nerve. Without treatment, glaucoma can result in permanent blindness. If you encounter vision difficulties, be sure to schedule a consultation with our optometrists at Family Vision Center in Bridgeport and Stratford. Here is some information on glaucoma so that you are aware of what the disease is and how our optometry care can help manage glaucoma.
What Are the Common Types Of Glaucoma?
There are two common types of glaucoma. The first is open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common. This form occurs when the eye's drainage system drains slowly, similar to a slow drain. When the fluid cannot drain properly, the pressure in the eyes will increase. The second is a less common type of glaucoma and it is called angle-closure glaucoma. It occurs when the eye's drainage system becomes completely blocked, causing the pressure in the eye to increase rapidly.
Who Is At Risk For Glaucoma?
While anyone can develop glaucoma, certain factors can put you at higher risk.
- Family history of glaucoma
- Having a high prescription
- Being diabetic
- Being over 40-years-old
- Previous trauma to the eye
- Prolonged use of steroid medications
What Are the Symptoms Of Glaucoma?
In the early stages, open-angle glaucoma shows no symptoms. This is why it has been nicknamed, “the silent thief of sight.” As the condition progresses, it can cause a loss of side vision. Over time, tunnel vision can occur.
The symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma can come on suddenly. They include:
- Severe eye pain
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Seeing halos around lights
How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
Glaucoma can be detected during your annual eye exam. During the exam, our optometrists will check the condition of your optic nerve as well as the pressure in your eyes. These tests will diagnose glaucoma. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, our doctors of optometry will order a visual field test to see if you have lost any side vision. Photos of the optic nerve are also taken so that our eye doctors can track the progression of the disease.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
There is no cure for glaucoma. There are, however, treatment methods available that can slow the progression of the disease.
- Eye drops: Eye drops are often prescribed to keep the pressure in the eyes down. They are the most common treatment method.
- Laser surgery: Laser surgery is performed to increase the flow of the fluid in people with open-angle glaucoma. If you have angle-closure glaucoma, laser surgery can stop the fluid blockage.
- Trabeculectomy: This is a form of microsurgery where a new channel is created to drain the fluid, which will reduce the pressure in the eyes.
If you do need surgery, our optometry care provides eye surgery co-management, this is to ensure that you are always taken care of, before and after surgery.
Because the most common form of glaucoma shows no early symptoms, you should make annual eye appointments at Family Vision Center in our Bridgeport location at 203-333-2020 or our Stratford location at 203-377-2020. Our doctors of optometry may perform a dilated eye exam to check for signs of glaucoma. We can also create a treatment plan to slow the progression of the disease.