More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma today. At Hunter Vision, leading optometrist Elizabeth MacDonald, OD, and her team of experts evaluate your eyes to check for glaucoma during every comprehensive eye exam. With an early glaucoma diagnosis, you can save your eyesight, so call the Maitland, Florida, office or schedule a consultation online today.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs when pressure on your optic nerve prevents that nerve from relaying visual information to your brain. This optic nerve pressure can increase over time, which can eventually cause permanent vision loss.
Fortunately, preventive eye exams can identify the early signs of glaucoma, so you can take steps to avoid vision loss.
Increased inner eye pressure is the main cause of glaucoma. The aqueous humor — the fluid within your eyes — regulates your eye pressure.
This inner eye fluid travels through a small area between your cornea (the dome over the eye) and your iris (the colored part of the eye). But, if the inner eye fluid can't drain efficiently, it soon builds up and leads to glaucoma.
In most cases, glaucoma doesn't cause significant symptoms in the beginning. Usually, glaucoma symptoms only appear when you have serious optic nerve damage and irreversible vision loss. You may have blind spots in your visual field or tunnel vision in the later stages of glaucoma.
So, the best way to prevent glaucoma vision loss is to have comprehensive eye exams at Hunter Vision as recommended.
Glaucoma treatment depends on the situation, but in general, it focuses on reducing your eye pressure and preserving your vision. Treatment options may include:
Prescription eye drops are usually the primary treatment for glaucoma. Eye drops can reduce the amount of fluid in your eyes, improve fluid drainage, or both.
Oral medication in the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor family, such as acetazolamide, can lower your eye pressure if eye drops aren’t strong enough.
A laser procedure, trabeculoplasty, can open clogged areas inside your eye to restore a healthy drainage system.
An ophthalmic surgeon can install shunts — tiny drainage tubes — to ferry fluid out of your eyes.
In a trabeculectomy, an ophthalmic surgeon creates a new drainage route for inner eye fluid.
There are many minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries, but they all have the same goal: reducing inner eye pressure with minimal risk.
Hunter Vision specialists can explain all your glaucoma treatment options in detail so you can preserve your vision. Call the office or schedule a consultation online today.