Glaucoma is an eye condition that can develop in one or both eyes, and occurs as a result of damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that transmits images from the brain to the eyes. The nerve tissue that occurs as a result leads to a gradual loss of vision, and, if left untreated, can lead to permanent blindness. There are several types of glaucoma, but the two main types that we diagnose and treat at Saland Vision are open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma.
This is the most common form of glaucoma, and it is caused by high intraocular (eye) pressure as a result of the buildup of fluid in the eye. This excessive pressure damages the optic nerve, causing vision loss. This type of glaucoma usually develops slowly and without any symptoms, and is not noticed until significant vision loss (often peripheral or side vision) has occurred. When symptoms are present, usually occurring in the later stages of the condition, they may include:
Though less common, this type of glaucoma occurs as a result of blockage in the eyes’ drainage canals, which leads to a rise in intraocular pressure and optic nerve damage. This type of glaucoma usually occurs very quickly and with noticeable symptoms. People who experience these symptoms should get treated immediately, as this is considered a medical emergency.
Glaucoma most often develops in people over 40, but it can also occur in children and young adults. Those who are an increased risk of developing glaucoma:
At Saland Vision, part of our comprehensive eye exam is a glaucoma test. This quick and painless test involves directing a small puff of air into each open eye; this will measure the intraocular pressure in your eye to determine if it is higher than normal. A visual acuity test to determine vision loss will also be performed during this routine eye exam.
The trained eye surgeons of Saland Vision use a variety of treatments for glaucoma, depending on how advanced the eye condition has become. Medications, typically in the form of eye drops or pills, can be used to reduce intraocular pressure for some glaucoma patients in the early stages. For more advanced glaucoma, a patient may need surgery in order to drain the fluid from the eye to relieve high intraocular pressure.
Though there is no cure for glaucoma, getting treatment for this eye condition is essential in slowing and even preventing vision loss that occurs as the disease progresses. And since glaucoma that is left untreated results in permanent blindness (often in as little as a few years), treating this eye disease, particularly in its early stages, is critical.