Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. It is a group of eye conditions that is commonly referred to as “the silent thief of sight” because the symptoms develop slowly and often go unnoticed. Many patients suffering from glaucoma lose up to 40 percent loss in vision before realizing there is a problem.
Routine eye exams allow the team at EyeCare Associates to detect eye disease and conditions before vision loss or impairment occurs. Although glaucoma cannot be prevented, it can be controlled. Our doctors specialize in glaucoma care and will help you maintain your best vision possible.
Protect your gift of sight and schedule an appointment with one of our glaucoma specialists today.
Over 40? It is recommended to have a glaucoma exam every 3-4 years. Higher risk populations especially those with a family history should be examined for glaucoma more regularly. Schedule a Glaucoma exam at your nearest EyeCare Associates.
What Is the Most Common Cause of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma most often affects people over 40 years old. It occurs when your eye cannot maintain a balance between the amount of intraocular fluid produced and drained. Intraocular fluid maintains the shape of your eye and flows between the iris and the lens. When there is an imbalance, the pressure in your eye increases. Too much pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, the part of the eye that is responsible for sending the images you see to the brain, causing changes to your vision.
While less common, glaucoma can also be caused by blunt or chemical eye injuries, a severe infection, blocked blood vessels, and inflammatory conditions.
How to Prevent Glaucoma
Glaucoma cannot be cured so it is important for your eye doctor to diagnose glaucoma as soon as possible to prevent vision loss and preserve your sight. People who are most at risk for developing the disease have:
African American, Latino, or Asian background
Diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, or hypertension
High blood pressure
Family history of glaucoma
While age is the most common cause of glaucoma, it can affect anyone, including infants, children, and young adults. Routine eye exams are the best way for you and your family to fight against it. At EyeCare Associates, we treat patients of all ages and work together to ensure your eyes are as healthy as possible.
Understanding Your Glaucoma Treatment Options
Glaucoma cannot be prevented, and damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed, but it can be slowed down and managed. The team at EyeCare Associates specialize in identifying, diagnosing, and treating glaucoma and can help you determine the best treatment option to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.
Two of the most common glaucoma treatments include:
Eye Drops: Eye drops are designed to decrease pressure in the eye by limiting the production of intraocular fluid or by promoting better outflow. Like all glaucoma medications, you must have a prescription for these drops. One drawback is that they require continuous, daily use in order to prevent loss of vision.
Glaucoma Surgery: The most common surgical procedure to treat glaucoma involves the insertion of a medical device to help fluid flow out of the eye. Our glaucoma specialists perform this painless procedure using the smallest FDA-approved stent available, the iStent®. Most patients don’t even feel the device or need to use eye drops as much after surgery or at all.
Early detection of glaucoma is key because symptoms often go unnoticed and once vision loss occurs, it cannot be restored. If you are at risk for glaucoma, you should see your eye doctor more regularly. Schedule an appointment with EyeCare Associates today.
The doctors at EyeCare Associates are experts in personalized eye care and use the most advanced technology available in comprehensive eye exams. In addition to considering any risk factors, your eye doctor will dilate your pupils, inspect the inside of your eye, and perform additional tests if necessary.
Tests for glaucoma include:
Visual field test to evaluate your peripheral vision
Fundus photos to monitor the retina and optic nerve
Gonioscopy to evaluate the flow of intraocular fluid
Pachymetry to measure the thickness of the cornea
Tonometry to measure the intraocular eye pressure
OCT (ocular coherence tomography) to visualize the deeper structure of the optic nerve and monitor for changes
Your eye doctor will analyze the results and may consult an ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment for your unique eyes.
Did you know changes to your vision can occur without you noticing? There are generally no warning signs or obvious symptoms in the early stages of glaucoma. However, as the disease progresses, you may experience:
Blind spots in your peripheral vision
Extreme eye pressure
Redness of the eye
Seeing glare or halos
Difficulty with tasks that require visual attention, like reading and driving
If you are experiencing any symptoms of glaucoma, schedule an exam with one of the specialists at EyeCare Associates today.
At EyeCare Associates, we recommend routine, comprehensive eye exams for the whole family to ensure you are experiencing the best vision possible at every stage of life. If you are 40 or older, it is recommended to have a glaucoma exam every year. You should see your eye doctor more regularly if you are at risk for the disease.