Glaucoma is an eye condition that ultimately damages the optic nerve, and glaucoma gets worse over time. The function of the optic nerve is to transmit images to the brain, and excessive pressure on nerve will affect how you see images. It’s important to receive treatment for glaucoma because too much pressure on the optic nerve can cause serious vision problems, including blindness.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two types of glaucoma:
- Open-angle glaucoma: The eye appears normal, but it isn’t functioning properly because fluid in the eye isn’t flowing correctly through the eye’s drain, which is known as the trabecular meshwork. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: A very narrow angle between the iris and cornea causes pressure to build.
Am I at Risk for Glaucoma?
There are a number of reasons glaucoma can develop. The main reason is because there is a lack of circulation of the eye fluid, creating too much pressure on the optic nerve. Other lesser-known causes of glaucoma include chemical exposure to the eye, blunt force to the eye, severe eye infection, vessel blockages in the eye, and inflammatory conditions. You should also understand the risk factors of glaucoma:
- Over the age of 40
- Family history of glaucoma
- Poor vision
Symptoms of Glaucoma
For most people, the beginning stage of glaucoma doesn’t produce many symptoms, and to prevent progression of vision problems, it’s important to be aware of any eye condition in its earliest stage. To catch glaucoma earlier on, look out for the following warning signs:
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Appearance of halos near lights
- Pressure in the eye
- Eye redness
- Tunnel vision
- Hazy looking eyes
Diagnosis and Treatment
A dilated eye exam will assist with the diagnosis of glaucoma, and the doctor will focus on the optic nerve. You may get your optic nerve photographed at every eye exam to record any changes in the appearance of the nerve. To diagnose glaucoma, a procedure known as tonometry will check eye pressure. A visual field test may also be performed. If glaucoma is diagnosed, there are treatment options:
- Eye drops: The eye drops can increase the outflow or decrease the formation of fluid in the eye. This reduces the chance of buildup.
- Beta blockers: Beta blockers reduce blood pressure, which in turn, helps to minimize pressure in the eyes.
- Laser surgery: Laser surgery can reduce pressure in the eyes and may be the best alternative if the pressure in the eyes reaches a certain level.
How Can I Learn More?
Do you want to learn more about your About Glaucoma treatment options? Boulder Eyes / Beyer LASIK can help you decide which treatment option will best relieve symptoms and slow the progression of glaucoma. Call (303) 499-2020 to schedule an appointment.