Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of low vision and vision loss in the United States. Sadly, over three million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of them know they have it. Regular comprehensive eye exams from Chico Vision Care Optometry in Chico, CA, may help detect glaucoma and other eye conditions before it’s too late. Following are the answers to questions our optometrist frequently receives regarding glaucoma.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is pivotal in carrying information from your eyes to your brain. Unfortunately, when it gets damaged, this causes low vision and vision loss.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs when the pressure buildup in the eye damages your optic nerve. Potential causes of increased eye pressure include:
- Eye injury
- Dilating eye drops
- Eye infections
- Restricted or blocked eye drainage
Who Is at Risk of Getting Glaucoma?
A risk factor does not necessarily lead to that condition, but it increases the chances. The best thing to do is to have a regular eye examination from an eye doctor if you fall under these risk factors:
- Aged 40 and above
- Family history of glaucoma
- Eye injury
- Health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma has no early symptoms. Over time, you may experience symptoms like:
- Eye redness
- Severe eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Vision disturbances
How is Glaucoma Detected?
A comprehensive eye examination will detect glaucoma. The analysis includes tonometry tests to measure your eye pressure. If our eye doctor suspects glaucoma, we will conduct additional tests to confirm the diagnosis.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
An effective treatment should slow down the progression of glaucoma. Our optometrist may apply the following treatment options:
- Eye drops help reduce eye pressure by increasing fluid outflow. Eye drop prescriptions include beta-blockers and prostaglandins.
- Drug prescription when eye drops fail to yield tangible results. Our eye doctor may prescribe a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor.
- Eye surgery: Laser eye surgery works for open-angle glaucoma. This involves our eye doctor using a laser to make a small opening in your eye to drain excess fluid. Trabeculectomy, where a new pathway is created to drain fluid, is another potential surgical solution.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Eye Doctor in Chico, CA
For more information on glaucoma treatment or to schedule an appointment with our optometrist, call Chico Vision Care Optometry today at (530) 342-9644.