How Can A Glaucoma Specialist Help Me?
Glaucoma is a condition in which there is a buildup of pressure inside the eye that leads to damage of the optic nerve, the fibers that connect the eye to the brain. In the early stages, someone will experience little to no symptoms and may not even realize something is wrong; however, by visiting an eye doctor once a year for checkups you can detect problems early on before they cause more serious complications. Without the proper treatment, glaucoma can lead to irreversible vision loss and even blindness.
What causes glaucoma?
This condition is caused by a breakdown of the optic nerve, which also causes fluid to buildup in the eye. Glaucoma can be inherited, so if you have a family member with glaucoma this can increase the chances that you may also develop glaucoma. Other less common causes of glaucoma include inflammatory conditions, blocked blood vessels in the eye, traumatic or chemical injuries to the eye or a severe infection. Glaucoma affects both eyes; however, sometimes symptoms may be worse in one side.
Adults over the age of 40 are at an increased risk for developing glaucoma. Also, those with diabetes should also work with their doctor to keep their blood sugar levels in check to reduce their risk for glaucoma.
What are the symptoms?
As we mentioned prior, people won’t often experience any symptoms. One of the first warning signs is a loss of peripheral vision. Sometimes even this can be so subtle that a patient won’t notice it until the condition has progressed. The most effective tool for early glaucoma detection is to get an eye exam every year. People with diabetes or those with an increased risk for glaucoma may want to talk with their eye doctor to find out if they should come in more often for routine exams. Sometimes people with glaucoma may experience eye pain, blurry vision, headaches or halos around lights.
How is glaucoma treated?
It’s important that you schedule an ophthalmologist evaluation as soon as you notice any vision changes. The goal of treatment is to lower the pressure within the eye so that the blocked fluid can drain properly. This can often be achieved with eye drops. If eye drops don’t provide proper relief then medication may be prescribed.
If medication doesn’t alleviate symptoms then our eye specialists may recommend surgery. There are a variety of different surgical techniques and the right surgical procedure will depend on the type of glaucoma you have. Most patients won’t need to take medication once they undergo glaucoma surgery.
If you are living with glaucoma in Oak Lawn, IL, it’s important to find an eye doctor you can turn to for care. Call Eye Specialist Group at (708) 581-3514 to schedule an appointment with glaucoma specialist Dr. Jonathan Buka.