What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an ocular disease that damages the fibers of the optic nerve frequently causing visual loss, blind spots and in some cases blindness. The four types of glaucoma include the most common form, primary open-angle glaucoma, as well as angle closure glaucoma, congenital glaucoma and normal tension glaucoma.
- Primary open angle glaucoma (most common): caused by a build-up of aqueous humor (clear fluid in the eye) due to blockage in the ocular drainage system. If left untreated elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) may lead to optic nerve damage and eventual vision loss.
- Angle closure glaucoma: caused by the iris closing off the drainage of the aqueous humor allowing pressure to build suddenly in the eye. This sudden onset of pressure can cause blindness in hours.
- Congenital glaucoma: if the eye angle develops abnormally, glaucoma can be present at birth or develop in childhood or adolescence.
- Normal tension glaucoma: despite normal intraocular pressure, optic nerve damage and resulting vision loss can occur.
Glaucoma is a chronic condition often caused by an increase in intraocular pressure. While it cannot be cured, careful monitoring and lowering the pressure can slow down or halt its progression. Frequently pain free, if left uncontrolled and untreated, glaucoma can silently steal the vision of its unsuspecting victim.
The presence of glaucoma can only be diagnosed during a thorough dilated eye exam. Dr. David R. Pernelli, MD and Dr. Terrance K. Heacox, Jr., OD can assess your vision, also taking into consideration any risk factors, to determine if you have this condition or if you fall into a higher risk category for developing this condition:
- Over age 60
- Family history of glaucoma
- Previous eye trauma
- Thin corneas
- High intraocular pressure
- Health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease
Contact our Vineland, NJ, office today at 856-205-1100 to request a comprehensive eye exam and Glaucoma Evaluation. Be proactive in protecting your vision from the silent effects of glaucoma.