Glaucoma: More than Meets the Eye

As we continue to recognize National Glaucoma Awareness Month, our team is sharing helpful insights and recommendations on the disease. From diagnosis and symptoms to early interventions and treatments to preserve sight, we’re sharing what you need to know to better understand glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma refers to a group of progressive diseases in which cells and fibers of the optic nerve are damaged, affecting the transmission of signals from the eye to the brain. The most common form is Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG). The condition may be influenced by genes, but also can be caused by other factors such as diabetes, previous eye injury, hypertension, or use of corticosteroids.

 

Glaucoma: Diagnosis and Symptoms

What is troubling about glaucoma is that it may exist without presenting any immediate or obvious symptoms. Most often, glaucoma is diagnosed during a dilated comprehensive eye exam, oftentimes before a patient even exhibits symptoms of the disease. As glaucoma progresses, however, the condition will affect vision and can cause irreversible blindness. Because of this, it is important to have regular eye exams and follow recommended diagnostic tests as indicated by your eye doctor.

As glaucoma progresses, symptoms can include the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and/or vomiting due to severe eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Appearance of halos around light sources
  • Reddening of the eye
  • Visual disturbance in low light
  • Gradual loss of peripheral vision

Sharing these, and any other, symptoms with your eye doctor can help them determine which tests to conduct for proper diagnosis and ultimately inform your individualized treatment plan.

 

Treatment for Glaucoma

While there is no cure for glaucoma, symptoms can be treated to preserve sight and quality of life. The recommended treatment approach depends on the form of glaucoma (open-angle, angle-closure, congenital, normal-tension, secondary, pigmentary, etc.) and the stage or severity of the disease.

Treatment options can include oral medication, medicated eye drops, or surgical procedures such as selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). Because of the many factors involved for each patient’s diagnosis, treatment plans are highly customized and should be discussed with your eye health provider.

 

At ReFocus Eye Health, we are proud to have highly trained expert ophthalmologists who specialize in a variety of eye diseases, including glaucoma. Get started with a comprehensive eye exam today to protect and preserve your vision.