Everything You Need to Know about Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. It is most commonly caused by excessive pressure in the eye. A healthy optic nerve is vital to good vision and taking care of your optic nerve is part of general good health. Untreated glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in people 60 and over. So if you are over the age of 60, a pressure test should be part of your yearly eye exam. However, glaucoma is not uncommon in persons younger than 60, especially if you have a family history of the disease. Talk to your eye care professional about being checked. In Carlsbad CA, our staff at Modern Eyes Optometry will be happy to discuss this with you.
Types of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is generally classed into two types, open-angle and closed-angle.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease. More than 90% of diagnosed cases will fall into this category. As many as three million people in the U.S. suffer from this disease. Characteristics of open-angle glaucoma include:
- Slow clogging of drainage canals
- The angle between the iris and the cornea is wide
- No noticeable symptoms
- It is a slow disease to develop and lasts forever
This is a much more rare condition and is caused by the closure of the space between the iris and the cornea. What eye professionals look for when they suspect angle-closure glaucoma is:
- Closure of the drainage canals
- A rapid onset
- Narrowing of the space between the iris and cornea
- Noticeable symptoms and damage
This is an acute condition and it necessitates immediate treatment.
Treatment for Glaucoma
Untreated glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. About 10% of people who receive treatment for glaucoma will still lose their eyesight. There is no cure for glaucoma, but there are treatments that can halt or impede the disease.
Several different medications can be used to treat glaucoma. Your physician may try one or several with you depending on how well you tolerate them. Medications often have side effects and finding the one the works best for you with the least side effects can be a matter of trial and error.
In some patients with open-angle glaucoma, surgery may be the preferred option to lower intraocular pressure. It has good results and is worth discussing with your eye care professional.
At Modern Eyes Optometry in Carlsbad CA, we care about the health of your eyes. Give our office a call and let us help you to keep your eyes healthy and seeing clearly. Our number is 760-678-0008.