Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause irreversible vision loss if left untreated. It’s a serious problem affecting millions of people worldwide and is estimated to be the second leading cause of blindness on the planet. Fortunately, there are treatments available for those who have been diagnosed, including medications and surgical procedures.
In today’s post, your ortho-k experts will guide you through three key things you need to know about the matter.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve caused by increased pressure within the eyeball (intraocular pressure). As mentioned, this increase in intraocular pressure harms nerve cells which can eventually lead to permanent vision loss or blindness if not treated quickly enough.
The most common symptoms associated with glaucoma include blurred vision, seeing halos around lights at night or difficulty adjusting from light-to-dark rooms quickly, also known as night blindness.
Several risk factors are associated with developing this condition, such as age over 40, having high blood pressure, being African American, having diabetes mellitus type 2, genetics and taking certain medications like corticosteroids.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two main types of glaucomas- open-angle (OAG) and angle closure (ACG). Open-angle occurs when fluid cannot flow freely through your eyes due to an obstruction somewhere within them. Meanwhile, angle closure occurs when a bulging iris blocks the drainage pathways leading out from your eyeball resulting in an acute rise in intraocular pressures. This often leads to optic nerve damage very quickly unless treated immediately, medically or surgically.
Orthokeratology experts note that OAG tends to progress slowly over time, while ACG typically develops suddenly without warning signs or symptoms, but both can lead to sight-threatening consequences if left untreated long-term, so diagnosis and treatment should always be sought early on.
Diagnosing and Treating Glaucoma
The first step towards diagnosing and treating glaucoma is visiting a professional optometrist clinic near you, like Insight Vision Center Optometry, in Costa Mesa, CA. Your doctor may use one or more tests, including a visual acuity test (checking for clarity) or tonometry.
Once the glaucoma is diagnosed, your optometrist will discuss various treatments, depending on your condition. Medications such as topical drops or pills can help reduce intraocular pressure. Laser surgery may also treat open-angle glaucoma by creating tiny openings in the eye’s drainage system to increase fluid outflow or improve flow through blocked channels.
Trabeculectomy is another surgical procedure that involves making a small flap in the outer layer of the eyeball that allows extra fluid to drain away from it, thus reducing pressure inside your eyes & saving vision long term. Tube shunt surgeries are also available, which involve implanting a tiny tube into one’s eyeball that diverts some of its fluids into an artificial reservoir.
Other surgical procedures like cyclophotocoagulation can be done if needed as well. Lastly, alternative therapies like acupuncture & yoga can also aid manage symptoms associated with glaucoma while slowing down its progression over time.
If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with glaucoma or at risk for developing this condition, it’s important to see an optometrist immediately. Insight Vision Center Optometry offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options for glaucoma. Our experienced team of eye doctors will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Call us today at (714) 486-3315 to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, CA.