The optic nerve carries information from the eye to the brain, so when the optic nerve is impaired, you can lose your vision. The term Glaucoma encompasses a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve.
The Thief of Sight
Glaucoma can cause blindness when it is left untreated. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults and is commonly referred to as the “silent thief of sight” because the condition does not usually show any symptoms until the disease has progressed to the point of major vision loss.
Protect Your Sight
Annual eye exams are essential for recognizing glaucoma in its early stages. With early detection and proper treatment, you can preserve your sight. Uou will undergo a series of painless tests during your eye evaluation:
- Dilated eye exams
- Eye pressure measurements
- Optic Nerve Imaging (specialized scanning photographs of the eyes)
- Visual field testing
Types of Glaucoma
Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It affects both eyes at the same time and is described as the chronic, progressive degeneration of the eye’s anterior optic nerve.
Closed-Angle Glaucoma is less common and usually affects one eye at a time. It causes several severe symptoms including eye pain, colored halos around lights, blurring of vision, and nausea and vomiting.
Glaucoma Treatment Options
Although vision loss cannot be reversed, glaucoma can be treated by slowing down the rate of progression as early as possible.
Special eye drops are prescribed to reduce intraocular pressure; these drops can be applied once or multiple times a day, depending on the prescription.
Lasers can be used to treat the part of the eye that drains the fluid internally. These lasers are usually non-invasive and can be performed in a simple in-office procedure.
Surgery may be required when the drops and other laser surgery no longer have the same impact on slowing progression. There are cases where surgery is the first option.