Glaucoma refers to one of several eye conditions that damage the optic nerve and ultimately cause blindness. Fortunately, glaucoma can be treated and the remaining vision can be salvaged if it is caught early on. At Louisiana Eye & Laser, we have treated countless glaucoma patients throughout the years. While we are able to provide the best glaucoma treatments available today, regular eye exams are a vital part of catching glaucoma in the early stages. To schedule an eye exam, you can call, fill out an online appointment request or stop by one of our 14 Louisiana offices. Read on below for more information and answers to common patient questions about glaucoma.
Table of Contents:
- What causes glaucoma?
- What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
- What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
- What is the treatment for glaucoma?
- Different Types of Glaucoma
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What causes glaucoma?
There are two primary types of glaucoma. The first, open-angle glaucoma, is a progressive build up of pressure in the eye. Normally, fluid in the eye called aqueous humor flows out of the eye through a mesh-like channel. When the eye is unable to properly drain this fluid, it essentially becomes clogged, leading to the gradual increase in pressure. If untreated, this pressure will eventually cause damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to blindness.
The second type of glaucoma is angle-closure glaucoma. This occurs when the iris blocks the drainage angle in the eye, causing eye pressure to rise quickly. When the iris completely blocks the drainage angle, this becomes a serious issue, also known as an “acute attack.” Angle-closure glaucoma is often gradual and can go unnoticed until there is major damage or even an acute attack. It is important to visit our offices for regular eye exams in order to catch glaucoma in the early stages before symptoms worsen.
What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
While there is no way to prevent or predict glaucoma, there are some risk factors for glaucoma:
- Over the age of 40
- African, Hispanic or Asian heritage
- Family history of glaucoma
- Farsightedness or nearsightedness
- Eye injuries
- Steroid medication use
- High eye pressure
- Thinning optic nerve
- Diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure or poor circulation
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Pressure often builds very slowly in the eye and may be difficult to notice. Most people with open-angle glaucoma do not have symptoms until much later in the disease’s progression. Symptoms typically include a loss of peripheral vision.
Alternatively, angle-closure glaucoma can have severe, obvious symptoms. Signs of an acute attack include:
- Blurred vision
- Halos or rainbow colors
- Redness in your eye
- Severe pain
If you think you are experiencing an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack, call us immediately.
What is the treatment for glaucoma?
Glaucoma is treated by lowering the pressure in your eye. This can be done in various ways, including medicated eye drops, oral medication, laser eye surgery, or microsurgery. Eye drops and oral medication each aim to either slow the creation of fluid in the eye or improve drainage from the eye. Similarly, surgical procedures will aim to either lower fluid production or improve drainage from the eye by physically altering the eyeball. Depending on your unique situation, your doctor may prescribe any combination of one or more of these types of treatments. While the nerve and vision damage from glaucoma cannot be reversed, treatment can save the vision that remains. Speak to our team to learn more about glaucoma treatment options.
What Are Some of The Different Types of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide and is often called the “silent thief of sight.” Some examples of different types of glaucoma are Open Angle Glaucoma (also known as Primary Open Angle Glaucoma), Narrow Angle Glaucoma, Pigmentary Glaucoma and Low/Normal Tension Glaucoma. The main concern in a patient with glaucoma is having a higher than normal eye pressure which can put added stress on the optic nerve causing nerve damage and possible loss of peripheral vision. If eye pressure stays high for a long period of time it can eventually cause damage to the nerve fibers that are responsible for central vision. High eye pressure can be caused by one of two things – too much fluids, called Aqueous Humor, being produced or not enough fluid being removed. The examples of different types of glaucoma above are affecting either the outflow or inflow of aqueous humor to the eye.
Glaucoma treatment at Louisiana Eye & Laser
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, which is why regular eye exams are extremely important for catching it in the early stages. If it’s time for you to have an eye exam, don’t wait – schedule an appointment with our highly trained eye care professionals today. If you have already been diagnosed with glaucoma and need treatment, our doctors are here to help. Give us a call and don’t let glaucoma stop you from leading a full life with the clear vision you deserve.
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