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The Silent Thief

Glaucoma is an ocular disease that damages the nerve connecting the eye to the brain, posing a significant threat to vision. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness.

Glaucoma is often referred to as the silent thief because of its tendency to rob you of your peripheral vision first, and often at a rate that is hard to detect. Once this vision is lost, it is impossible to restore.

Understanding Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve, usually due to a build-up of fluid in the front part of the eye. The resulting pressure from the fluid impairs the optic nerve, eventually leading to blindness.

There are two primary types of glaucoma: open-angle and angle-closure.

Open-angle glaucoma, also known as wide-angle glaucoma, is the most common form. In this type, the eye’s drainage system appears normal, but the fluid fails to exit the eye as intended.

Angle-closure glaucoma, also referred to as chronic angle-closure glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma occurs when the space between the cornea and iris narrows, causing a sudden increase in intraocular pressure. Farsightedness and cataracts are often associated with this type of glaucoma.

Recognizing Glaucoma Symptoms

In its early stages, glaucoma typically does not display noticeable symptoms, underscoring the crucial role of early detection through regular yearly eye exams.

Here are some common symptoms associated with glaucoma:

  • Halos surrounding lights
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Eye pain
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Tunnel vision or narrowed vision

Risk Factors for Glaucoma

While glaucoma can affect anyone, it primarily occurs in individuals aged 40 and older. Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Eye trauma
  • Taking certain medications, such as prednisone
  • Family history of glaucoma

Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma

During an eye exam, your eye care provider will measure your eye pressure and thoroughly examine the back of your eye, including the optic nerve. Additional tests, such as a visual field exam to evaluate peripheral vision, may also be conducted.

The treatment plan for glaucoma depends on the severity of the condition. Treatment options include the use of eye drops, laser surgery, or microsurgery. Whenever possible, less invasive approaches are preferred, although advanced cases may require immediate surgical intervention to alleviate fluid blockages.

At Meridian Vision, we are dedicated to partnering with you to protect the health of your eyes and preserve your vision. For more information about glaucoma or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office or utilize our convenient online booking system.