Glaucoma is an eye disease that is characterized by a sudden or gradual increase in pressure in the eye. Since it is mostly asymptomatic other than progressive vision loss, it’s important to get annual comprehensive eye examinations with our Duluth optometrists to check for changes in your vision and to test the pressure in your eyes.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that most often develops after the age of 60. It is believed to be hereditary, and there have been several genes identified that relate to the development of high internal eye pressure. The condition causes a buildup of fluid in the front part of the eye, which increases the pressure in the eye. When the pressure increases, it causes permanent damage to the optic nerve.
Once this damage occurs, it cannot be reversed. Therefore, it is extremely important to get your eye pressure tested on a yearly basis by visiting Theobald Family Eye Care. This test is painless and relatively fast.
Glaucoma Types and Symptoms
There are two types of glaucoma, open-angle and closed-angle. In order to understand these two types, it’s important to understand how the fluid flows through the front of the eye. Your eyes create fluid that circulates internally. Once the circulation process is complete, it drains through an opening between the iris and cornea, called the trabecular meshwork. When the trabecular meshwork becomes partially or completely clogged, it results in higher than normal eye pressure.
Most individuals have open-angle glaucoma. This occurs when the trabecular meshwork is partially blocked. The decreased flow of fluid results in a gradual increase in eye pressure. The increase is usually so slight that individuals can have significant vision loss before they realize there is a problem. There are typically no other symptoms associated with this form of the disease.
Closed-angle glaucoma typically occurs after open-angle glaucoma. This stage of the eye disease is characterized by the complete closure of the trabecular meshwork. The closed-angle form is much more dangerous and can be considered an emergency situation. If your vision suddenly becomes blurry, have a sudden severe headache, eye pain, nausea or halos or colors around lights, it is important to call our office immediately to prevent blindness.
Risk Factors For Increased Eye Pressure
- 60 Years of Age or Older
- Have a History of Eye Surgery
- Have a Previous Eye Injury
- Having Extreme Nearsightedness or Farsightedness
- High Internal Eye Pressure
- Other People in the Family Have High Eye Pressure
Treatments For High Intraocular Eye Pressure
Glaucoma can be treated, and the inner pressure in your eye can be reduced in order to prevent further damage to your optic nerve. The most common treatment used to reduce internal eye pressure is daily eye drops. These eye drops can either decrease the amount of fluid the eye produces, or they can increase the flow of fluid through the trabecular meshwork.
Theobald Family Eye Care has the most modern glaucoma detection equipment available on-site including optical coherence tomography and the automated visual field analyzer. However, annual comprehensive eye examinations with one of our qualified and experienced optometrists is usually successful in detecting early signs of optic nerve damage.
Diabetes and Glaucoma
According to The Diabetes Council, diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than someone who doesn't have diabetes. The relationship between the two issues, however, isn't fully understood.
To schedule your next eye exam to have your vision tested and to check for signs and symptoms of glaucoma, contact us today.