Glaucoma causes up to 12% of all cases of blindness in America. But, when diagnosed early, you can prevent glaucoma vision loss with help from the expert optometrists at Riverfront Eyecare in Flint and Saginaw, Michigan. Find out how regular screening, monitoring, and expert care can protect your eye health by calling either office or booking an appointment.
Glaucoma is a family of eye diseases in which optic nerve damage leads to decreased vision and can lead to blindness.
The different kinds of glaucoma include:
Primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common variety, develops slowly as the internal drainage system in your eyes grows clogged. This means your internal eye fluids gradually increase, and eventually pressure your optic nerve to cause damage.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a severe kind of glaucoma in which your iris can cover your drainage canals, creating a rapid spike in eye pressure followed by optic nerve damage. This can happen whenever your pupil dilates very rapidly, like when you enter a dark room.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma only occurs in those with eye structure problems, typically when the iris is over narrow or is thinner than normal. It can also occur if your eye lens is thicker and positioned more towards the front of the eye than normal.
Normal-tension glaucoma is an unusual type of glaucoma in which you have the optic nerve damage characteristic of other kinds of glaucoma, but you don’t have the usual indicator of high eye pressure.
There are also many other kinds of glaucoma, all of which are rare: congenital, neovascular, traumatic, pseudoexfoliative glaucoma, pigmentary, and iridocorneal endothelial syndrome glaucoma.
For primary open-angle glaucoma, symptoms are rare in the early stages. That's why it's so important to have an annual eye exam at Riverfront Eyecare, as your exam includes a glaucoma screening.
In angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms occur quite suddenly and often include:
Normal-tension glaucoma, like primary open-angle glaucoma, doesn't cause sudden symptom onset like the acute form of the disease. But, normal-tension glaucoma often causes headaches and low blood pressure.
The best approach starts with the earliest possible diagnosis. Your Riverfront Eyecare optometrist emphasizes vision preservation and slowing further disease progression.
Treatment often includes prescription eye drops (or, less commonly, oral medications) that reduce eye fluid production, increase fluid outflow, or both. You need to use the medications daily, exactly as prescribed by your optometrist.
If your glaucoma continues to progress while you use medication, your optometrist at Riverfront Eyecare may recommend a laser surgical procedure that improves or reroutes your eye's existing drainage system.
Don’t allow glaucoma to steal your eyesight. Riverfront Eyecare routinely screens for glaucoma during eye exams, and the optometrists are glaucoma management specialists who are ready to help. Book your appointment by calling the office nearest you or using the online booking tool.