Glaucoma is the primary cause of vision loss in the United States. It is also referred to as a silent killer disease as your eyesight may start to deteriorate without displaying any symptoms. If glaucoma is diagnosed in the initial stages, you may be able to protect your eyes from severe vision loss. The only way to detect this eye disease is to have regular, detailed examinations.
At Summerlin Vision, we perform comprehensive eye exams to diagnose glaucoma before the disease can cause irreversible damage to your eyesight. While there is no known treatment for glaucoma, your vision can often be preserved and further damage can be averted if detected early.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition affecting the optic nerve, the bundle of fibers connecting the eyeball and the brain. Gradual damage and loss of the optical fibers lead to vision loss. Initially, glaucoma affects the peripheral vision and advances to the central vision. The disease is characteristically but not always associated with elevated intraocular pressure.
What Causes Glaucoma?
The back of your eye continuously produces a clear fluid called aqueous humor and fills the front part of your eye. Then, it exits your eye through channels present in your cornea and iris. If these channels get obstructed or blocked, the intraocular pressure (IOP) in your eye could build up. The optic nerve may become damaged as the intraocular pressure starts to rise. As damage to your nerve worsens, you might begin losing your eyesight.
What Are the Types of Glaucoma?
Open-angle, or chronic, glaucoma shows no symptoms except for progressive vision loss. This loss could be so slow that you wouldn’t notice. But your vision could become permanently damaged before any other signs become apparent.
This glaucoma is caused when the flow of your aqueous humor fluid is suddenly blocked, leading to its accumulation and increased eye pressure.
Children who have congenital glaucoma have eyes at a defective angle, making fluid drainage slower. Genetic glaucoma symptoms are cloudy eyes, excessive tearing, or sensitivity to light.
Secondary glaucoma is caused by eye conditions such as cataracts, eye tumors, or injuries. Medicines, such as corticosteroids may also be responsible for this type of glaucoma.
How Can Glaucoma Be Treated?
Glaucoma cannot be totally cured, but it can be managed with various treatment options to lower and stabilize the eye pressure, reduce further damage to the optic nerve, and protect you from vision loss. Eye drops of different kinds can decrease eye fluid production or improve eye fluid outflow.
Laser procedures can also serve to improve eye fluid circulation. Glaucoma surgical specialists at times perform more invasive procedures if other treatments are ineffective.
For more information about glaucoma or schedule an exam, visit us at Summerlin Vision in the Las Vegas area. To reach us, call (702) 243-8788 to schedule an appointment.