Have you ever wondered what those numbers on your eyeglass prescription actually mean? Although reading an eye chart is a fairly simple test, it provides a very accurate way to measure your visual ...View Article
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Posted on 10-03-2018
Glaucoma is caused when the intraocular pressure in the eye increases. Over time, the increased pressure can cause damage to the optic never of the eye. The optic nerve is responsible for sending images to the brain. Once the optic never is damaged and vision loss occurs, it cannot be reversed. If glaucoma goes untreated, it can cause peripheral vision loss. Over time, tunnel vision can occur.
There are two types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common. This type of glaucoma often occurs gradually with no symptoms. This is why it is called the “silent thief of sight.” Because open-angle glaucoma causes no symptoms, it is vital that you see the optometrist every year. The second, less common type of glaucoma is angle-closure. The symptoms of this type include headaches, severe eye pain, and nausea.
Anyone can get glaucoma. However, more people are at higher risk of developing the condition than others. If you have a family history of glaucoma, you are more at risk. The same is true for African-Americans and Hispanics. While a person of any age can develop glaucoma, it is more common in people over 50.
The treatment required for glaucoma would depend on how far the condition has progressed. If it is in the early stages, eye drops would be prescribed to keep the pressure in the eye down. If you don't tolerate the drops well and have serious side effects, your optometrist might prescribe an oral pill. If your condition has progressed to the point where drops won't help, traditional surgery or laser surgery might be necessary. Your eye doctor would perform specific tests to determine how advanced your condition is.
Because glaucoma is such a serious condition of the eye, it is important that you see your eye doctor every year. When you visit Chapel Hill Vision Clinic for an optometry check, the doctor will check the pressure in your eyes and check for glaucoma. If the pressure is high, you would likely be referred to an ophthalmologist. The sooner the condition is diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment.
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