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Information about Glaucoma from Our Columbus and Gahanna, OH Optometrists from Berk Eye Care Center
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an overall word for a group of eye conditions that result in damage to the optic nerve, and sometimes vision loss. It has several different types associated with it. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common. There are also less common types like closed-angle glaucoma and normal tension glaucoma. Most types of glaucoma are based on increased pressure within the eye, because the fluid inside isn't able to drain naturally anymore, as it was meant to. There is often a family history of it, but there doesn't have to be for someone to get it.
How do Optometrists Diagnose Glaucoma?
Our optometrists diagnose glaucoma primarily by detecting an increase of pressure within the eye using basic exam tools during an annual eye examination. With open-angle glaucoma, the symptoms develop slowly and over time, with no pain, though side vision may decrease, then gradually more until all vision is lost in that eye if it is not treated. Closed-angle glaucoma usually presents quickly, but can come on gradually. If it presents suddenly, it is usually accompanied by severe eye pain, blurry vision, red eyes, and nausea. If you lose your vision in one or both eyes due to untreated glaucoma, it is permanent. Therefore, swift diagnosis and treatment is important.
There are other less common types of glaucoma. These include pseudoexfoliation glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, and primary juvenile glaucoma. These are caused by pigmentation accumulations in the eye that can interfere with the normal drainage of fluid from it. These can occur in people of all ages, though the juvenile type is only seen in children. In other types, the older a person becomes, the higher their risk of developing glaucoma.
How is Glaucoma Disease Treated?
Eye doctors use management as a first-line treatment for all types of glaucoma, except closed-angle glaucoma, which is an eye emergency that requires immediate surgery to correct it. Management of any type of glaucoma condition is typically a medication-first approach. The medication alleviates the symptoms and slows the progression of the disease to keep surgery from being necessary for as long as possible. Some people get lucky and never need surgery, thanks to the medication. Others can go years or decades until surgery is necessary, when they use the right medication. The medication used depends on the type of glaucoma and the age and overall condition of the person receiving it.
Surgery may be done when it becomes necessary. Laser surgery is usually done to create drainage holes in the eye to relive the pressure, or to insert drainage tubes to do the same thing. It is typically a surgery with low pain and a quick recovery, that makes a huge difference in the comfort, health, and clarity of vision for the people who get it. It is a very effective surgery and method of healing glaucoma
What to Do Next? Schedule an Eye Exam at Our Gahanna or Columbus Optometry Clinics
It's quite simple. Give us a call to set up your appointment for your initial exam, evaluation, and consultation at our Gahanna or Columbus optometry clinics. We have two convenient offices to serve you. You will be glad you put your eye care in our caring, compassionate, and highly skilled hands of out optometrists. We are looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you to our optometry practice at the Berk Eye Care Center family.