What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease caused by abnormally high pressure inside of your eye that induces optic nerve damage. Glaucoma can usually lead to blindness but occurs gradually, so you may not notice vision loss until the later stages of the disease. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, but some groups are more susceptible. Hence, it’s very important to get your eyes examined regularly for early diagnosis and treatment.
Since Glaucoma is painless and does not explicitly display symptoms until it is in an advanced state, it is difficult to diagnose without an eye exam. Your doctor may perform several tests to diagnose glaucoma, including: measuring intraocular pressure (or internal eye pressure) after numbing your eyes with drops; testing for optic nerve damage by looking directly through the pupil to the back of your eye; and a visual field test to check whether your peripheral vision has been affected. Here is a list of symptoms you may encounter if your glaucoma is advanced:
- Eye or brow pain
- Eye redness
- Decreased or blurred vision
- Seeing colored rainbows or lights
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower pressure in your eye. Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, but treatment and regular checkups can prevent or slow down vision loss.
Doctors will often treat your glaucoma with medicated eyedrops. Be sure to use the drops exactly as prescribed. Avoid the common mistake of forgetting to take them or you may risk optic nerve damage and vision loss.
Some patients may need surgery to treat glaucoma if their eye drops or other medications are ineffective. There are various types of surgery that look to lower eye pressure, consult your doctor to learn which option is best for you.
MPO Eyecare strongly advises that you ask for a glaucoma screening on your next visit to our office. Dr. Scott Lam specializes in preventative health and diagnosing eye disorders; his thorough and educational eye examination could help save you time and money while keeping your eyes as robust as possible!