Glaucoma is also commonly known as the secret thief of sight. It earns this scary nickname for three reasons.
First, the disease is essentially symptomless. Without looking for it, you might not even realize that you are losing vision.
Secondly, any damage that it causes is permanent. And thirdly, there is no cure for glaucoma.
While all of that may sound frightening, glaucoma is easily manageable. Keep reading to learn if you should be afraid of glaucoma!
How Do Eye Doctors Diagnose Glaucoma Without Symptoms?
Glaucoma may not have noticeable symptoms, but a good eye doctor can detect it. Glaucoma is usually the result of high internal eye pressure.
Fluid is constantly being created and draining from your eye to maintain healthy eye pressure. If this drain becomes blocked, eye pressure slowly builds up and can damage sensitive structures in the eye.
During a routine eye exam, the doctor can test your eye pressure using a test called tonometry. If the pressure inside your eye is higher than normal or seems to be rising since your last visit, your eye doctor may diagnose you with glaucoma.
Your eye doctor will also consider whether or not you have a family history of glaucoma. The disease seems somewhat genetic, although it can happen to anyone.
Other risk factors include ethnicity, diabetes, anemia, and hardened arteries. If your eye doctor diagnoses you with glaucoma, you will begin treatment as soon as possible.
Any delays can cause you to lose more of your vision.
What Is the Most Common Type of Glaucoma?
The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. There are many other types of glaucoma, including angle-closure glaucoma.
Angle-closure glaucoma is much rarer but progresses rapidly. It also produces obvious symptoms like nausea and severe pain.
Angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and needs to be treated immediately. While glaucoma is not curable, its progression can be halted.
The most important factor in preventing permanent vision loss is early detection. Since it has no symptoms, the only way to do that is with regular visits to the eye doctor.
How Do Eye Doctors Treat Glaucoma?
The purpose of glaucoma treatment is to stop the disease from getting worse. The first method of treatment is usually medicated eye drops.
The medication might relax the muscles in the eye to allow fluid to pass through the drain. Other types might slow down the production of eye fluid.
Some people might need a combination to be effective. Your eye doctor may also prescribe oral medication to help reduce eye pressure.
While glaucoma medication does work, you will have to take it consistently. If you stop at any time, the pressure will rise back up, and your vision will continue to decrease.
If the drops are not working fast enough, your eye doctor may recommend having a laser treatment. Laser treatment can help reduce overall pressure quickly, but medication will likely still be needed to keep it down.
It is essential to remember how vital early detection is, especially with glaucoma. Regular eye appointments can save vision!
Do you want to see your eye doctor to determine if you are at risk for glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare in Garden City, NY, today!