Dr. Jim Martin 10/11/2013

eye_drops.jpgGlaucoma affects nearly 2.2 million Americans, slowly robbing them of their sight. The majority of these people do not even know they have glaucoma until it is too late. That’s why early detection is imperative. This eye disease can negatively affect the quality of life for its sufferers and may cause blindness. Glaucoma is caused when fluid in the eye does not drain properly. The built-up fluid causes severe pressure in the eye and that in turn causes damage to the nerve fibers. 

What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma symptoms can be hard to detect. Only about half of the people who have the condition are even aware of it. The symptoms occur very gradually and the signs are not always apparent. You don’t wake up one morning and notice that you have this eye disease. Over time you will notice changes or a decrease in your peripheral vision. These vision changes are caused by damage to the optic nerve.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Severe eye or brow pain
  • Eye redness
  • Blurred or even decreased vision
  • Seeing rainbow-like colors or halos around objects
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea 

Is There An Early Detection Method for Glaucoma?

Early detection of glaucoma can be accomplished by using advanced imaging technology called an OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography) as well as Computerized Visual Field testing. Glaucoma testing also will include checking of eye pressure using tonometry, which in the past has included the air puff test as well as other techniques.

The eye doctor will also check your eye drainage to see if it is draining properly. Some people may not have typical glaucoma symptoms, but may have higher than normal eye pressure or ocular hypertension or even low eye pressure. They are considered “glaucoma suspects,” and should consult an eye doctor.

What Is The Treatment Protocol for Glaucoma?

How your glaucoma is treated depends on the type and severity of your disease. The most common way to treat this eye disease is through medicated eye drops. These drops, which should  be used daily, treat the condition by either reducing the amount of fluid produced in the eye or by improving the drainage of the fluid out of the eye. Normal eye drainage drains into the lymphatic system as opposed to out of the corner of your eye.

Some glaucoma patients may require surgery to reduce eye pressure. This surgery is done with either a laser or by incision, and is focused on improving the drainage of the eye fluid.

Glaucoma is a serious condition. It can take your sight without you even noticing. It’s called the sneak thief of sight for a reason. Therefore, you must see an optometrist at least once a year. Catching this eye disease early can make a huge difference in the quality of your life.

Where Can you Find out More about Glaucoma?

Glaucoma may lead to blindness. That’s why early detection is critical. The eye doctors at Broome Optical in Amarillo, Texas can accurately detect and diagnose Glaucoma using state-of-the-art diagnostics and instruments. Contact the eye care specialists at Broome Optical today to set up an eye appointment.

Computer Vision Syndrome Infographic