How Is Glaucoma Treated?

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

Glaucoma is an eye condition characterized by optic nerve damage. The damage stems from a buildup of fluid in the eye, putting pressure on it. If not treated, the condition can lead to permanent loss of vision.


Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the world. Several treatments can help slow down vision loss. It is necessary to find out how glaucoma is treated.


Understanding Glaucoma


The optic nerve is vital for visual function. It works by sending signals between the retina and the brain. The brain uses the signals to come up with images. Damage to the nerve causes vision problems.

The intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure to the eye from fluid buildup, causes damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is usually age-related, affecting millions of people. It can also affect people with normal eye pressure. Poorly controlled or untreated glaucoma can result in irreversible or permanent vision loss. 


Risk of Glaucoma

Glaucoma can affect anyone, but some people are considered high risk. The risk of the condition increases with age. Latinos and African Americans have a higher risk of developing the condition than other races. Asians are more likely to get angle-closure glaucoma, a specific form of the disease.


People who have diabetes are at high risk. Other risk factors are a family history of the condition, having myopia or hyperopia, and high blood pressure. Long-term use of certain medications and previous eye injuries are risk factors.


Symptoms of Glaucoma


The symptoms of glaucoma will depend on the type of the disease. Open-angle glaucoma develops gradually, often with no noticeable symptoms. Closed-angle glaucoma exhibits symptoms that are more severe, and they often come on suddenly.

The symptoms include headaches, eye pressure or pain, halos around lights, blurred vision, low vision, narrow vision, or blind spots. Further on, people with glaucoma may experience nausea, vomiting, and red eyes. Early detection and treatment of glaucoma are vital for preventing vision loss.


Diagnosing Glaucoma

Regular eye exams can help in the detection of glaucoma. Detecting the disease in the early stages is crucial. If the doctor suspects one has glaucoma, the eye doctor will conduct several tests to diagnose the condition.

The tests include a dilated eye exam, gonioscopy, optical coherence tomography (OCT), ocular pressure test (tonometry), and pachymetry. The doctor may also use a slit-lamp exam, a visual acuity test, and a visual field test.


How Glaucoma Is Treated

There are several ways to treat or manage glaucoma. Treatments include the use of eye drops or medications that help reduce fluids and increase drainage. Drainage tubes can alleviate eye pressure. Laser treatment improves the drainage of fluids from the eye.


Laser treatment is used alongside eye drops, providing results that can last up to five years. Another way to treat glaucoma is through surgery. Surgical treatment is more invasive, but the results are more long-lasting.


Around ten percent of people with glaucoma develop a degree of sight impairment. Five percent of people with the condition may become blind. Early treatment can help slow down the progression of the disease. Regular eye exams are the best way to ensure eye health and prevent complications associated with glaucoma.


For more information on treatment for glaucoma, contact Lifetime Vision and Eye Care at our office in Miami Gardens, Florida. You can call (305) 902-3320 today to schedule an appointment.

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