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 our Glaucoma treatment and surgery in Salt Lake City is to reduce eye pressure. Depending on the type of glaucoma treatment in Salt Lake City, 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. We offer glaucoma eye exams in Salt Lake City.
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.
Have you recently found out that you have glaucoma? You may have questions about what to expect, or how you got it! Here are some frequently asked questions from our patients!
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that deal with increased intraocular pressure.
With increased intraocular pressure comes damage to the optic nerve. If the optic nerve becomes damaged, this leads to permanent vision loss.
There are two categories of glaucoma: open-angle and closed-angle. With open-angle glaucoma, vision loss may occur at a slower rate. It is difficult to know you have open-angle glaucoma because the symptoms are so subtle.
With closed-angle glaucoma, vision loss occurs much faster. Patients with closed-angle glaucoma may experience significant pain.
Like open-angle glaucoma, it’s hard to notice symptoms. Most patients become extremely uncomfortable due to the pain, and then get diagnosed.
If glaucoma is detected quickly, patients are able to avoid permanent vision loss. Glaucoma can be detected during annual eye exams with your eye doctor.
Glaucoma is often called the silent thief of sight. This is because there are very few symptoms of glaucoma. For many patients, an increase in intraocular pressure has already started after diagnosis.
When glaucoma is not treated, it leads to eventual blindness. Unlike some eye conditions, blindness due to glaucoma is permanent.
This is why it’s important to go to the eye doctor if you notice any unusual vision loss immediately!
Glaucoma can develop in anyone, but there are certain risk factors that make you more likely.
A big one to keep in mind is genetics. If you have a family member who has glaucoma, you are much more likely to develop glaucoma.
Other risk factors to consider include being over the age of 40 and if you are African, Hispanic, or Asian. Patients who know they are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma should see an eye doctor yearly. Other risk factors to remember:
Treatment options for glaucoma depend on what kind of glaucoma you have. Your eye doctor will also take into consideration the severity of your vision loss.
If a patient has open-angle glaucoma, the most common treatment option are eye drops. Eye drops are usually prescribed to help lower optical pressure.
If eye drops are not helping, other forms of treatment will be considered. These include laser treatments like a trabeculoplasty or traditional glaucoma surgery.
With closed-angle or angle closure glaucoma, there is an element of immediacy. If angle-closure glaucoma is not treated as soon as possible, blindness results in just a few days! To lower intraocular pressure, pills and drops are used.
In serious emergencies, a procedure called an iridotomy will become necessary. This procedure helps to reduce pressure on the eye and protects the eye from emergency later.
With modern glaucoma treatments, most patients do not require surgery. Eye drops have become more effective.
This allows intraocular pressure to be relieved without needing surgery. If drops or other treatment options don’t work, surgery will become necessary.
There is currently no cure for glaucoma, but there are things you can do reduce your risks of developing it. Like the rest of your body, your general health can end up affecting your eyes.
It’s important to live a healthy lifestyle when possible. This means exercising regularly and eating nutrient-rich foods. Talk to your doctor about adding more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. This can be with fish oil pills, or by incorporating fatty fish like salmon in.
Want more information about glaucoma and how it could affect you? Schedule an appointment with the doctors at Clarus Vision Clinic today!
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