Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. In many cases, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in the eye, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP).The goal of treatment is to reduce eye pressure. Depending on the type of glaucoma, this is done using medications or surgery. Glaucoma can be divided roughly into two main categories, “open angle” and “closed angle” glaucoma. Closed angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful; visual loss can progress quickly but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs. Open angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress at a slower rate and the patient may not notice that they have lost vision until the disease has progressed significantly.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. The vision loss usually occurs very slowly and is often not noticed until the disease is very advanced. Unfortunately, vision lost from glaucoma is permanent. Because there are very few, if any, symptoms of glaucoma, it is important to get regular eye exams where your doctor looks for signs of the condition.
There are several risk factors for developing glaucoma, including family history, age, race, and other systemic conditions. In many (but not all) people with glaucoma, the pressure inside the eye is high. In addition to checking the pressure inside your eyes (tonometry) and looking at your eyes with a special microscope called a slit lamp, your doctor may also measure the thickness of your cornea (pachymetry), formally test your peripheral vision, measure the thickness of the nerve layer of your retina using optical coherence tomography (OCT), and check the retinal function using electroretinography (ERG). Treatment is focused on lowering this pressure and can be accomplished with eye drops, laser procedures, and/or surgery.
These two types of glaucoma have slightly different symptoms and treatments, but they both lead to permanent damage of the optic nerve.
It is possible for infants and children to have glaucoma as well. This is called congenital glaucoma.
Every CLARUS patient is unique. Let us help you preserve your vision. Simply fill out our form to request an appointment.