Glaucoma is a serious and progressive eye condition, in which damage to the optic nerve leads to irreversible vision loss. It is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide and is associated with a buildup of fluid in the eye.

Glaucoma - Causes

Glaucoma is most often associated with pressure buildup within the eyeball, leading to optic nerve damage. There are 4 different types of glaucoma:

  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Normal-tension glaucoma
  • Pigmentary glaucoma

Glaucoma - Risk Factors

  • Age (60+)
  • High intraocular pressure
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Eye injury
  • Tobacco Use
  • Unregulated high blood pressure
  • Corticosteroid use

Glaucoma - Warning Signs

Unfortunately, most glaucoma cases don’t occur with noticeable symptoms which warn of optic nerve damage. However, the presence of these following symptoms may indicate that you need a comprehensive examination by an optometrist:

  • Unusual trouble adjusting to a dark room
  • Difficulty focusing on objects (both near and distant)
  • Light sensitivity
  • Glare sensitivity
  • Change in the color of the iris
  • Recurrent pain in and around the eyes
  • Dark spot at the center of your vision
  • Lines and edges appear distorted or ‘wavy’
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry eyes/Itching/Burning
  • Seeing spots/ghost like images

Glaucoma - Diagnosis

Only a comprehensive eye examination will reveal whether or not you have glaucoma. If you are noticing any unusual changes to your vision, book an appointment with one of our optometrists.

During an eye-exam, we will check:

  • The internal pressure of the eye
  • Drainage angle of the eye
  • The health of the optic nerve
  • Thickness of the cornea
  • Peripheral (side) vision

Glaucoma - Treatment Options

While glaucoma cannot be cured, if detected early, it can be very successfully managed and further vision loss prevented. The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower the intraocular pressure. Depending on the type and severity of the glaucoma, treatment solutions can include:

  • Prescription eye drops
  • Oral medications
  • Laser surgery
  • Drainage tubes
  • Filler surgery
  • A combination of these methods

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