Glaucoma Treatment Stratford & Bridgeport
Glaucoma is a disease involving increased fluid pressure within the eye. Just like the body responds negatively to high blood pressure, the eyes also react adversely to high intraocular (within the eye) pressure. Your optic nerve is responsible for transmitting visual messages it receives from the retina to the brain, where these messages are interpreted as recognizable images. Deterioration of the optic nerve occurs if glaucoma progresses without treatment.
Damage to the optic nerve due to glaucoma is irreversible. Any vision impairment caused by glaucoma is permanent. Because glaucoma is one of the most serious eye diseases, your optometrist in Stratford and Bridgeport urges everyone over 35 years old receive a glaucoma eye exam every year.
Glaucoma Risk Factors
Some people are at more risk of developing glaucoma. You should get annual glaucoma exams if you:
• Are over 35
• Have parents, grandparents or siblings with glaucoma
• Are Hispanic or African-American
• Are moderately to severely nearsighted or farsighted
• Had previous eye injuries
• Have thinning of cornea centers
People with chronic migraines, diabetes or circulatory problems are also at risk for glaucoma since these diseases impact eye blood vessel health and fluid retention.
What is Primary Open-angle Glaucoma?
If your optometrist in Stratford and Bridgeport diagnoses you with glaucoma, it will likely be primary open-angle glaucoma. This form of glaucoma occurs when eye fluids do not drain out of the eye due to clogged or damaged eye ducts. Primary open-angle glaucoma happens slowly and without producing symptoms. In fact, you could have early onset of glaucoma and not experience symptoms for 20 years.
What is Angle-closure Glaucoma?
Less commonly diagnosed than open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma happens if the iris is positioned too close to the eye's drainage angle and blocks the drainage angle. When this angle is completely blocked, a pressure in the eye increases rapidly. Acute attacks of angle-closure glaucoma is an eye emergency requiring immediate treatment by your optometrist in Stratford and Bridgeport. Severe pain, blurry vision, headache and nausea/vomiting are signs of an acute attack of angle-closure glaucoma. Neglecting to get treatment for this type of glaucoma may result in partial or total blindness.
Treatment Options for Glaucoma
Eye drops prescribed by your optometrist work well to lower intraocular pressure by inhibiting production of aqueous eye fluid. Other kinds of glaucoma eye drops facilitate the flow of fluids through drainage angles.
When glaucoma eye drops do not reduce eye pressure enough to prevent optic nerve damage, your optometrist may recommend laser surgery called trabeculoplasty to make it easier for fluid to flow into drainage angles. A trabeculoplastyy is performed in-office or as outpatient surgery.
Glaucoma is a serious disease of the eye. It occurs when the pressure in your eyes build up, causing permanent damage to the optic nerve. Without treatment, glaucoma can result in permanent blindness. If you encounter vision difficulties, be sure to schedule a consultation with our optometrists at Family Vision Center in Bridgeport and Stratford. Here is some information on glaucoma so that you are aware of what the disease is and how our optometry care can help manage glaucoma.
What Are the Common Types Of Glaucoma?
There are two common types of glaucoma. The first is open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common. This form occurs when the eye's drainage system drains slowly, similar to a slow drain. When the fluid cannot drain properly, the pressure in the eyes will increase. The second is a less common type of glaucoma and it is called angle-closure glaucoma. It occurs when the eye's drainage system becomes completely blocked, causing the pressure in the eye to increase rapidly.
Who Is At Risk For Glaucoma?
While anyone can develop glaucoma, certain factors can put you at higher risk.
- Family history of glaucoma
- Having a high prescription
- Being diabetic
- Being over 40-years-old
- Previous trauma to the eye
- Prolonged use of steroid medications
What Are the Symptoms Of Glaucoma?
In the early stages, open-angle glaucoma shows no symptoms. This is why it has been nicknamed, “the silent thief of sight.” As the condition progresses, it can cause a loss of side vision. Over time, tunnel vision can occur.
The symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma can come on suddenly. They include:
- Severe eye pain
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Seeing halos around lights
How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
Glaucoma can be detected during your annual eye exam. During the exam, our optometrists will check the condition of your optic nerve as well as the pressure in your eyes. These tests will diagnose glaucoma. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, our doctors of optometry will order a visual field test to see if you have lost any side vision. Photos of the optic nerve are also taken so that our eye doctors can track the progression of the disease.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
There is no cure for glaucoma. There are, however, treatment methods available that can slow the progression of the disease.
- Eye drops: Eye drops are often prescribed to keep the pressure in the eyes down. They are the most common treatment method.
- Laser surgery: Laser surgery is performed to increase the flow of the fluid in people with open-angle glaucoma. If you have angle-closure glaucoma, laser surgery can stop the fluid blockage.
- Trabeculectomy: This is a form of microsurgery where a new channel is created to drain the fluid, which will reduce the pressure in the eyes.
If you do need surgery, our optometry care provides eye surgery co-management, this is to ensure that you are always taken care of, before and after surgery.
Make an Eye Exam Appointment for Glaucoma One of Our Two Locations
In addition to providing glaucoma exams and treatment, Professional Eye Care Services also offers comprehensive eye and vision services and is a certified dry eye treatment facility. Schedule an eye exam today by calling our Bridgeport office at (203) 333-2020 or our Stratford office at (203) 377-2020.