What is Glaucoma?
The eye continually produces a watery substance called aqueous fluid that makes up the majority of the eye. The fluid continually exits the eye while new fluid is produced through a drainage point. The shape of your eyes is created through the perfect balance of pressure maintained by this constant cycle.
When the drainage system in your eye becomes impaired, you will experience an increase in pressure, this is called Glaucoma. The increased eye pressure results from the rapid increase in pressure and the decrease of drainage. Your vision can be damaged as a result of this pressure.
What are the Symptoms?
Initially, symptoms of Glaucoma include the loss of peripheral vision and can progress to complete blindness if it goes untreated.
Often, there are no symptoms, causing glaucoma to often be referred to as the"silent thief of sight" - a patient noticing nothing until permanent damage has been done. Ensuring healthy eyes can be achieved through routine eye exams.
What are the risk factors for Glaucoma?
Increasing with age, the risk of glaucoma can affect anyone. There are a few groups who are at a higher risk of contracting glaucoma:
- Genetic history of glaucoma
- History of hypertension
Having regular eye exams will help anyone maintain healthy eyes and be aware of developments of glaucoma and other visual problems. Contact the Williamson Eye Center today to schedule your next eye exam.
How is Glaucoma Detected?
Glaucoma can be detected without dilation through a painless procedure using the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph II (HRT). This newly developed technology generates a comprehensive and precise analysis of the optic nerve. This allows for early detection and immediate action.
Measuring the intraocular pressure, testing your peripheral vision, inspecting optic nerve damage and inspection of the drainage angle of your eye will all be performed by your doctor during your evaluation for glaucoma.
Treatment for Glaucoma
The risk of nerve damage can be minimized and eye pressure can be lowered effectively through a host of treatments. Glaucoma, unfortunately is incurable.
Common treatments for glaucoma include:
- Prescription Medicine can be used to assist in fluid drainage and slow down fluid production. Medications can be taken orally or topically.
- Laser Therapy can be used to increase drainage with a simple outpatient procedure.
- Surgery can be performed to create an additional hole for drainage at the back of your eye. This would occur when laser and prescription medication does not provide successful results.
- Glaucoma Shunt - The drainage hole can be kept open with the insertion of a small tube. This option is effective, but very invasive and is typically the last course of action.
Early detection can be the difference. Call Williamson Eye Center today to schedule your next eye exam.
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