Glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss, but early detection and treatment can reduce the pressure in your eyes and preserve your vision. At Anwar Eye Center in Moundsville, West Virginia, the board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists provide comprehensive glaucoma exams and treatment to preserve and improve vision. To schedule a glaucoma exam or learn more about treatments, schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerves, which connect your eyes to your brain. Your optic nerves deliver visual information from your retinas to your brain, allowing you to see images. Glaucoma progressively damages your optic nerve and can cause blindness if left untreated.
The cause of glaucoma is a buildup of aqueous humor, the fluid in your eyeball. Your eyes need aqueous humor for a number of processes, including nourishing your corneas and regulating the pressure in your eye.
When aqueous humor can’t enter and drain from your eyes freely, it builds up, leading to excess pressure in your eye. As this pressure increases, your glaucoma worsens, gradually causing more and more damage to your optic nerves.
Glaucoma usually affects both eyes but not at the same time. One eye can have more pressure and, therefore, more damage than the other.
Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight” because in its early stages it doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms. Unfortunately, there are no signs you can look for, such as discomfort or minor vision changes, that prompt you to seek treatment.
When glaucoma has a noticeable effect on your vision, that means it’s already caused permanent damage. It first causes patchy blind spots in your peripheral (side) vision. Left untreated, glaucoma eventually leads to full blindness in one or both eyes.
Prevention is the most effective glaucoma treatment. Starting at age 65, you should get screened every two years as part of your regular eye exam. If the disease runs in your family, or if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you should start getting screened earlier, as young as 40.
Comprehensive glaucoma screenings at Anwar Eye Center include a series of tests to evaluate the pressure in your eye, your level of vision loss, and the health of your optic nerves.
Though there’s no way to reverse vision damage from glaucoma, don’t lose hope. Treatment can’t restore lost vision, but it can reduce eye pressure and prevent further damage. Of course, it’s more effective the earlier you catch the disease because you have more vision to preserve.
The team at Anwar Eye Center first treats glaucoma with prescription eye drops, which can either decrease fluid production in your eye or help fluid to drain, both of which relieve pressure.
If eye drops don’t sufficiently reduce the pressure in your eye, the next step is surgery. Surgeries to treat glaucoma include:
With early detection, you can control glaucoma and preserve your vision. To schedule a glaucoma screening or to learn more about treatments, call Anwar Eye Center or book an appointment online.