Learn About Glaucoma and Treatment at the Eye Centers

At the front of your eye, there is a small space filled with a clear liquid that flows easily in and out to bathe and nourish nearby tissues in the eye. If you have glaucoma, the fluid drains out too slowly. As more fluid is made, it builds up and the pressure inside the eye rises. This pressure must be controlled, or it can pinch the optic nerve and cause damage – or even blindness.

Unfortunately, there are no symptoms in the early stages of glaucoma. By the time glaucoma has caused severe damage, side vision gradually fails. As glaucoma progresses, the field vision narrows and blindness results. Other common signs of glaucoma may include frequent changes in glasses, the inability to focus in dark rooms, blurred vision, and colored rings around lights.

Glaucoma is most often detected by dilating your pupils, allowing your doctor to see the back of your eye. Although glaucoma cannot be cured, it can usually be controlled; treatment usually begins with drops or oral medication. Sometimes laser treatment is used to treat Glaucoma. Surgery may be performed as a final step for those patients whose eye pressure cannot be controlled with medication or laser treatment. Glaucoma is more common in African-Americans, and in anyone who has a family history of the disease. All patients over the age of 60 should be screened regularly for glaucoma.

Remember, if left untreated, glaucoma can cause total blindness. However, regular check-ups and proper treatment can help preserve your eyesight for the rest of your life. The doctors of The Eye Centers provide complete care for patients with glaucoma, from screenings and examinations, to prescribing drops and oral medications, to laser treatments and surgery.

Remember, early detection of glaucoma is critical – so it’s important to have your eyes screened regularly by the team of professionals at The Eye Centers.

Glaucoma Q&A

What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the eyes that results in damage to the optic nerve, the nerve responsible for passing visual information to the brain. When Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, that damage is permanent. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. There are many types of glaucoma.

Who will develop glaucoma?
Anyone can develop glaucoma, but some people are more likely to develop it than others. The risk factors for glaucoma include age, family history, high eye pressure, structural abnormalities, injuries and race. People of African descent are five times more likely to develop glaucoma and up to 15 times more likely to suffer blindness.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
In most cases of glaucoma, there are absolutely no symptoms until after significant damage to the optic nerve has already occurred.

If glaucoma usually has no symptoms, how can I know if I have it?
Screenings may help you know if you are at risk, but detection of glaucoma begins with annual comprehensive eye examinations with dilation. These must be performed by a qualified eye doctor, who will determine if further glaucoma testing is needed.

What if I am diagnosed with glaucoma?
Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Most treatments for glaucoma involve taking drops to reduce pressure in the eyes. Other treatments include laser surgery and other surgeries.

If I am diagnosed with glaucoma, will I go blind?
Your best chance of avoiding blindness from glaucoma is early detection. Once detected, regular monitoring and consistent treatment are essential to reduce the risk of blindness or other visual impairment.