Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma is a condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged and can result in blindness. This is a serious eye condition that shows no early warning signs or symptoms. Typically, intraocular pressure (IOP), the pressure in the eye, is the usual cause of glaucoma.
A patient with early glaucoma will notice no difference in their vision, which is why initial vision loss is not noticed. As the condition progresses, blind spots can develop in a patient’s peripheral vision. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to complete blindness within a patient.
Risk Factors of Glaucoma:
- Intraocular Pressure (IOP)
- Family history of glaucoma
- African- or Spanish-American ancestry
- Prior eye injury
- Less central corneal thickness
- Farsightedness or nearsightedness
- Systemic health problems such as steroid medication, migraines or poor circulation
Types of Glaucoma
There are two types of glaucoma – Narrow-Angle Glaucoma and Open-Angle Glaucoma.
Narrow-Angle Glaucoma – this form of glaucoma can occur suddenly, when the iris (the colored potion of the eye) is pushed or pulled forward. This movement can cause internal eye structures to be blocked. When this occurs, the eye’s internal pressure may spike, causing damage to the optic nerve. Symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma include eye pain, headaches, halos around lights, dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea and vomiting.
Open-Angle Glaucoma – this form of glaucoma displays no signs or symptoms. Most patients that have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice any changes in their vision. In open-angle glaucoma, the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve.
Treatments for Glaucoma
There are several different treatment options available to help manage glaucoma. The most common treatments include laser treatment, surgery, and medications. Each of these treatments will help lower the IOP and control the glaucoma. Treatment will not be able to restore any vision that has been lost, but the treatments provided at Boling Vision Center can help maintain the vision you do have left. Your Boling Vision Center eye doctor will determine the best procedure for the health of your eyes.
Glaucoma can be managed with an early diagnosis. Once a treatment plan is developed, patients can enjoy the same activities without their eye health negatively impacting their daily life.
Schedule An Eye Exam Today
If you have a family history of glaucoma, contact the glaucoma specialists at Heart of Texas Eye Institute. We will schedule a dilated eye exam and measure the pressure in your eyes to determine if you have glaucoma. The doctors at Heart of Texas Eye Institute will educate you on the preventative measures of healthy eyes.
Call 512-213-2220 today to schedule your preventative eye exam! We look forward to seeing you soon.