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% of their vision before realizing there is a problem.
Routine eye exams allow the team at eyecarecenter 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.
eyecarecenter has Glaucoma eye care specialists at our locations in North Carolina.
What Is 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, which is the part of the eye that is responsible for sending the images you see to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed. Over time, and if left untreated, glaucoma impacts your ability to see completely and clearly.
Types of Glaucoma
Glaucoma develops in the eye when there is a decrease in blood flow to the optic nerve or high pressure to the individual nerve fibers. There are two main types of the disease. Open Angle Chronic Glaucoma occurs when fluid fails to flow out of the eye like it should. Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma, generally linked to patients who are farsighted or have cataracts, occurs when the drainage space between the iris and cornea is too narrow, causing a build up of pressure.
Other forms of glaucoma include:
Congenital Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma occurs when the drainage canals are undeveloped. This type of glaucoma occurs in babies during the prenatal period and, while rare, is often hereditary.
Normal Tension Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma occurs when optic nerves are damaged in the absence of high eye pressure.
Secondary Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is caused by eye injury, inflammation, certain drugs, and advanced cases of cataracts or diabetes.
How is Glaucoma Detected?
A comprehensive eye exam is the best way to detect glaucoma and at eyecarecenter, we use the most advanced technology available. 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 monitor structural changes to the optic nerve
Not all of these tests may be necessary but can be used together to diagnose or rule out glaucoma. Your eye doctor will analyze the results and may consult an ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment for your unique eyes.
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 eyecarecenter today.
The prognosis depends on the type and severity of the glaucoma diagnosis. While glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be controlled through routine eye exams and treatments.
If you are living with glaucoma, contact eyecarecenter today. Our team of glaucoma specialists can help you preserve your vision and live your life more comfortably.
While glaucoma is rare in children, it can occur and is often hereditary. Glaucoma in children happens during the prenatal period and their drainage canals do not fully develop. Most children with glaucoma are diagnosed before they turn 6 months old.
If you feel your child’s vision is impaired, trust the team at eyecarecenter to deliver the personalized care your loved one needs and deserves.
Glaucoma cannot be prevented or cured, so it is important to see your eye doctor regularly so that they can detect and diagnose glaucoma as soon as possible to prevent vision loss and preserve your sight.
Risk factors for developing the disease include:
African American, Latino, or Asian background
Diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, or hypertension
High blood pressure
Family history of glaucoma
At eyecarecenter, our doctors provide comprehensive eye exams for patients of all pages and are experts in glaucoma treatment. We work together to ensure your eyes are as healthy as possible.