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Vision with Glaucoma
Slide bar to see the progression of glaucoma
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease regarded as optic nerve damage. The optic nerve damage produces peripheral vision loss associated with higher than “normal” intraocular pressure. Glaucoma often referred to as a Silent Thief of Sight, is estimated to impact over 4 million Americans with only half of those people knowing they have the disease.
It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. However, if caught early, it can be effectively treated. Glaucoma can occur at any age. And, the risk of developing the disease increases dramatically after age 35. One in every 50 adults is estimated being affected by this disease.
Glaucoma is a series of diseases that damage the optic nerve. Damage to the optic nerve and retina causes blind spots in the field of vision. Glaucoma is usually caused by an increase in the fluid pressure in the eye, either because of overproduction of fluid or from a blockage in the drainage system of the eye. The higher pressure inside the eye causes damage to the optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss.
The early symptoms of chronic open-angle glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma, are often unnoticed because there is no discomfort or pain. Most people will not notice a change in vision until there is a significant loss of vision. Later, central vision becomes affected, with mild headaches and difficulty with night vision. If left untreated, total blindness will result. However, the patient with acute closed-angle glaucoma may experience more noticeable symptoms including blurred vision, severe pain, nausea, and halos around lights.
In most cases, our doctors can detect glaucoma in a routine eye examination. Glaucoma is detected using special instruments. One instrument checks the fluid pressure in the eye. Then a magnifying lens is used to examine the drainage channels for proper fluid outflow. Early detection and treatment can almost always control glaucoma and preserve vision. Sadly, there is currently not a cure for glaucoma. Your vision, once lost, is impossible to restore. Remember, glaucoma vision loss is permanent. But, can usually be prevented with early detection and treatment. Regular eye exams are important for people over 35, or those in other high-risk groups.