Glaucoma is high pressure in the eye that will ultimately cause damage to the optic nerve—the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. Unfortunately there is no cure for this disease but there are treatments available to help manage the condition and slow vision loss. Those with glaucoma often experience a gradual vision loss that is subtle and virtually undetected until it reaches advanced stages. Glaucoma is often asymptomatic thus periodic comprehensive eye exams are important especially if you have a family history of the disease, are of African or Hispanic ancestry, have a history of past eye injuries or other systemic health problems such as diabetes. Vision that is lost to glaucoma cannot be regained however treatments can slow the progression of this sight stealing disease.
Did you know…
that glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States? It accounts for approximately 10 percent of all cases of total vision loss. The disease can strike anyone at any time. More than 2 million Americans are believed to live with this disease however only approximately 50 percent have received a diagnosis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I see an eye doctor about glaucoma testing?
Your eye doctor should perform a routine glaucoma screening at your comprehensive eye exams. However, should you notice changes in your vision, such as blurring or halos around lights, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to rule out glaucoma.
What should I expect during glaucoma treatment?
There are several tests available to check for glaucoma, including intraocular pressure testing and visual field testing. These screenings are painless but could make it possible to diagnose and treat glaucoma in the disease’s earliest stages when the vision changes are not detected.
Will I need to follow any special instructions during treatment?
Once the doctor has diagnosed glaucoma, you will likely be prescribed eye drops to keep the intraocular pressure within a safe range to lessen any damage to your optic nerve. Periodic office visits will be required to check the eye health and to monitor the effectiveness of the medication. In many instances, a mixture of more than one medication may be needed to keep the intraocular pressure within this safe range.