Glaucoma, an eye disease with no early symptoms, is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. While there is no cure, early treatment is crucial to prevent further damage. Take advantage of Glaucoma Awareness Month, and schedule your eye exam!

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects your optic nerve. Your eyes naturally create a fluid called aqueous humor that drains on its own. When aqueous doesn’t drain properly, it builds up causing pressure. This results in damage to your optic nerve. 

What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

The symptoms you experience can depend on the type and stage of glaucoma you have. There are five types of glaucoma:

  • Open-angle glaucoma: During the early stage, open-angle glaucoma usually does not present symptoms. However, as it progresses, you might notice gradual patchy blind spots in your peripheral (side) vision and difficulty seeing with your central vision. 
  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma: This type of glaucoma has more severe symptoms that can include headaches, eye pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, halos around lights, and / or red eyes. 
  • Normal-tension glaucoma: You might not experience symptoms during the early stage of normal-tension glaucoma. As it progresses, you might notice blurry vision and loss of side vision. 
  • Pigmentary glaucoma: With pigmentary glaucoma, you can experience halos around lights, blurry vision, and gradual loss of your peripheral vision.
  • Childhood glaucoma: Adults are usually the ones at risk for glaucoma, but it can occur in children too. Infants may have a dull or cloudy eye or tears without crying. Infants might blink excessively. Children might also have blurry vision and headaches. 

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed and Treated?

The only way to diagnose glaucoma is through a comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor will measure the extent of your eye pressure, dilate your eyes to determine the amount of damage to your optic nerve, conduct a visual field test to check for areas of vision loss, measure the thickness of your cornea, and inspect the drain angle. 

Unfortunately, glaucoma is not a disease that can be reversed or cured. It can be treated to prevent or slow down the progression though. Treatment options include oral medications, prescription eye drops, laser treatment, or surgery.

Your doctor will make the best recommendation based on the results of your exam. You might find you respond best to a combination of treatments.

Be a Part of Glaucoma Awareness Month – Schedule Your Exam With South Palm Eye Associates!

Our team of doctors is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality eye care. If you suspect you have glaucoma and would like to schedule an appointment or have questions about our services, please contact us today at 561-737-4040.