What You Need to Know About Glaucoma
There are a few eye diseases that we discuss frequently in our office. Glaucoma is one of them. This age-related disease is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Approximately 3 million Americans are living with this condition that could rob them of their sight without much of a warning at all. Because glaucoma is so common and so concerning, we find it necessary to discuss it often. Here, we remind you of a few things you need to know to protect your eyesight.
- It is excess fluid in the eye that causes vision loss
The eyes rely on a certain amount of fluid for optimal comfort and function. They also rely on a complex drainage system that allows fluid to exit the eye in a healthy manner. Glaucoma occurs when the drainage of fluid from the eye gets interrupted. Studies have not determined what causes the interruption, which is why there is no cure for glaucoma at this time. When fluid builds up in the eye, the optic nerve gets compressed. It is this compression that damages the optic nerve and diminishes sight.
- Glaucoma is a sneaky thief
Glaucoma has been called a sneaky thief of sight because it does not provide any warning. One might think that having too much pressure in the eye would hurt. It doesn’t. There is no pain nor any other signals as the optic nerve is being compressed. Symptoms are only obvious once the optic nerve has been irreparably damaged.
- An ophthalmologist can detect glaucoma
Currently, the only way to detect glaucoma before sight has been adversely affected is through a routine eye exam. When you see your eye doctor, they perform a test that aims a quick burst of air at the open eye. This screening provides a measurement of the pressure in your eyes. If your measurement is high, your doctor may order additional tests. During a dilated eye exam, your eye doctor can see all of the parts of your eyes, including the optic nerve.
- Glaucoma is not curable but it is treatable
Without a cure, the early detection and treatment of glaucoma become vital aspects of long-term eye health. When your eye doctor confirms glaucoma, they set out to customize a treatment plan for you. Some patients may manage intraocular pressure with medication. Some may be helped by a minor eye procedure that improves the integrity of the eye’s drainage system. Treatment does not repair existing damage but can minimize the risk of ongoing damage and vision loss.
We are proud to offer comprehensive eye care services in Pasadena, TX. To schedule a visit with our experienced team, call (713) 473-5715.