Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, impairing your vision. The condition is typically due to fluid buildup in the front of the eyes. It's one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness in the United States. While there's no cure for glaucoma, it's easier to treat if diagnosed early enough. At Stine Eye Center in Weston, WI, our optometrist diagnoses and treats glaucoma to preserve your vision.
How Glaucoma Occurs
Glaucoma is typically associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) that causes damage to the optic nerve. Over time, you may notice the development of blind spots as more nerve fibers die. There's a reason why glaucoma is referred to as the ‘silent thief of sight’. More than half of individuals who have glaucoma don't know they do. In the early stages, there are virtually no warning signs of glaucoma or changes are very subtle. Only an optometrist can diagnose this eye disease with a comprehensive eye exam.
Types of Glaucoma
There are different types of glaucoma, but the two primary forms include:
- Open-Angle Glaucoma: This form is more common and accounts for roughly 90 percent of all cases. It happens gradually because the eye is not draining fluid properly. As a result, pressure in the eye increases. At first, there can be no signs of discomfort and no noticeable symptoms.
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This form is less common and it is far more dangerous. Angle-closure glaucoma happens if the drainage canals become completely blocked, which can spike intraocular pressure quickly. Symptoms will occur immediately, and include blurry vision, intense eye pain, severe headaches, or even nausea. Visit our optometrist immediately if you have any of these symptoms.
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
Some individuals have a higher risk of glaucoma. Risk factors include:
- Being over the age of 60
- A family history of glaucoma
- Previous eye injuries
- Being African American or Hispanic
- Medical conditions (diabetes and high blood pressure)
Glaucoma Diagnosis and Treatment
An accurate diagnosis of glaucoma can only be achieved with a thorough exam from our optometrist. The exam will involve measuring your eye pressure, examining the optic nerve, and eye tests for peripheral vision. Although the disease is not reversible, it can be managed and slowed down with medication or laser surgery to help with drainage.
Schedule an Eye Exam with Our Optometrist in Weston, WI
Routine eye exams are vital in detecting glaucoma early. At Stine Eye Center in Weston, WI, our optometrist will diagnose the condition and provide the proper treatment. We will slow the progression of the disease to preserve your vision. Call us today to schedule an appointment.