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Glaucoma – The Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that shows no early warning signs or symptoms and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Typically, the optic nerve becomes damaged because of high pressure in the eye, however, there are other causes that can contribute to the continued damage of the optic nerve, such as poor blood flow, stroke, and multiple sclerosis.

A patient with early glaucoma will notice no difference in their vision, which is why initial vision loss is not typically noticed. As the condition progresses, blind spots can develop in a patient’s peripheral vision and if left untreated, glaucoma can lead to complete blindness.

Risk Factors of Glaucoma:

  • Age
  • Intraocular Pressure (IOP)
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African- or Spanish-American ancestry
  • Prior eye injury
  • Less central corneal thickness
  • Farsightedness or nearsightedness
  • Systemic health problems such as steroid medication, migraines or poor circulation

Types of Glaucoma

There are two types of glaucoma – Narrow-Angle Glaucoma and Open-Angle Glaucoma.

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma

This form of glaucoma can occur suddenly when the iris (the colored potion of the eye) is pushed or pulled forward. This movement can cause internal eye structures to be blocked and the eye’s internal pressure may spike, causing damage to the optic nerve. Symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma include eye pain, headaches, halos around lights, dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea and vomiting.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

This form of glaucoma displays no signs or symptoms. Most patients that have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice any changes in their vision. In open-angle glaucoma, the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve.

Treatments for Glaucoma

There are several different treatment options available to help manage glaucoma. The most common treatments include medications, laser treatment, and surgery. Each of these treatments will help lower the eye pressure and control glaucoma. However, treatment will not be able to restore any vision that has already been lost. Your Goshen glaucoma specialist, will discuss the treatments available to you to determine the best way to help protect and preserve the sight you have left and maintain the health of your eyes.

Thankfully, glaucoma can be managed with an early diagnosis, and once a treatment plan is developed, patients can enjoy the same activities without their eye health negatively impacting their daily life.

 Schedule An Eye Exam Today

If you have a family history of glaucoma or would simply like to be proactive in your eye health, be sure to contact the Goshen glaucoma specialist at Boling Vision Center by calling 800.283.8393 today. We will schedule a dilated eye exam at one of our 4 convenient locations, so we can measure the pressure in your eyes to determine your glaucoma risk factors and overall eye health.