While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, a treatment plan and regular checkups can help to slow the progression of glaucoma, as well as preventing vision loss. Glaucoma develops as the result of increased pressure within the eye that causes a slow progression of vision loss. Naturally, the best course of treatment is to lower that pressure to improve vision and to halt the effects of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve of the eye. It is caused by a buildup of fluid in the front part of the eye caused by increased pressure in the eye. The eye constantly makes this fluid, known as aqueous fluid. As aqueous flows into the eye, the same amount should drain out through what is known as the drainage angle. With this flow, the pressure in the eye, called intraocular pressure, should remain stable. When the drainage angle is not functioning properly, the fluid builds up causing the pressure in the eyes to rise. As this happens, the nerve fibers in the optic nerve start to atrophy (die) causing blind spots in vision.
There are 2 types of glaucoma, open-angle and closed-angle, but they both develop as a result of clogged drainage. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It is usually painless and does not cause any vision changes initially. For this reason, routine eye exams are important to catch any changes in pressure as symptoms may not present right away. Angle-closure or closed-angle glaucoma can completely block the drainage angle causing eye pressure to rise very quickly, referred to by doctors as an acute attack. This type of glaucoma is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist to save eyesight. Signs of an acute attack include sudden blurry vision, severe eye pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, seeing rainbow-colored rings or halos around lights.
Some people do not exhibit signs, symptoms or damage but do have higher than normal eye pressure, also known as ocular hypertension. This risk factor increases the likelihood of developing glaucoma. Glaucoma damage is irreversible but stopping the development in its tracks is possible. Glaucoma is usually controlled with eye drop medication to lower eye pressure. If surgery is needed, your ophthalmologist will select either a trabeculoplasty for open-angle glaucoma or an iridotomy for closed-angle glaucoma.
The best form of prevention for glaucoma or any eye disease is with a comprehensive eye exam where Eye Institute of South Jersey, P.C. can evaluate your eye health and assess the pressure level in your eyes. To schedule your evaluation today, call 856-205-1100 or visit WEBSITE.