Glaucoma is one of the most common sources of vision loss. Fortunately, if it is discovered and treated in its early stages, the problem usually can be treated successfully. It is very important that people have routine eye examinations to detect glaucoma – usually at least once a year for adults.
In Glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged and nerve cells are lost. A combination of factors causes glaucoma: elevated pressure in the eye, poor circulation to the nerve, structural abnormalities of the eye, injury, and certain diseases or medications.
Testing for glaucoma involves checking the pressure of the eye, measuring and observing the optic nerve, and checking your peripheral vision. Detecting glaucoma is much more than just checking the eye pressure. As glaucoma progresses, peripheral vision diminishes and we lose vision from the outside in. Complete vision loss can occur if glaucoma is not treated.
Peripheral vision loss
Optic nerve damage
Healthy nerve has good color, damaged nerve is pale
Treatment: Glaucoma is not cured but controlled. Most people are successful treated with the faithful use of eye drops and routine office visits. It involves a commitment by the patient and doctor. There are many drops for glaucoma so you have lots of medicines possible. Treatment can also be done with a laser in the office. For many people the laser is a simpler solution. Surgery also is possible.
Prognosis: Though glaucoma can be a serious disease, with the many treatments possible, most glaucoma patients do very well and their vision is preserved for a lifetime.
Recommendation: come see us for a routine periodic glaucoma checkup as part of your yearly eye examination.