Glaucoma is a severe eye disease that requires urgent intervention to reduce the chances of vision loss. Unfortunately, those with glaucoma often hardly notice they have a condition because this disease shows no signs until it's in the late stages. While glaucoma is a threat to your eyesight, regular eye exams can help catch the disease before it progresses. At Apple Valley Eye Center Inc., we provide the testing and care patients need to manage their glaucoma and protect their vision and eye health.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damages your optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits images from your retina to the brain. When the optic nerve gets damaged, vision loss occurs. There are two common types of glaucoma. They include:
- Open-angle glaucoma is due to blockage of your trabecular meshwork, and the fluid overflows, increasing pressure in your eye. As a result, the force damages your optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma is the most dominant type in the United States.
- Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when your cornea and iris close, closing the angle between them, increasing pressure in your eyes.
Causes of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure in your eyes. The increase in pressure damages the optic nerve, and vision problems arise, leading to blindness if not treated. The increased pressure occurs due to the accumulation of fluid that flows through your eyes. You are at an increased risk of glaucoma if:
- You are 50 years or older
- Your family has a history of glaucoma
- You are an African American or Asian
- You are female
- You have medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure
- You had previous physical injuries in the eyes or eye surgery
Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma shows no signs at the initial stages. That's why it's vital to maintain routine eye exams to help catch the disease early. However, depending on the type and the stage you are at, you may experience symptoms like:
- Blurred or hazy vision
- Eye redness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Eye pain
- Halos around lights
Diagnosis and Treatment
The best way to catch glaucoma is through a regular eye exam. Our optometrists may recommend a tonometry test to measure intraocular pressure, check your optic nerve, and other tests for a thorough diagnosis. After proper diagnosis, your optometrist may recommend treatment options like:
- Eye-drops prescription
- Surgery, including laser therapy and trabeculectomy (filtering tubes)
- Oral medications
Visit Our Optometrists for Eye Care in Yakima, WA
Glaucoma cannot be reversed, making an early diagnosis critical. However, with proper treatment and management, you can slow its progression. If you experience any symptoms of glaucoma, please schedule an appointment with Apple Valley Eye Center Inc. for personalized treatment.