Glaucoma is a condition marked by increased intraocular pressure (IOP), which can cause optic nerve damage. It’s a leading cause of vision loss worldwide. As we observe Glaucoma Awareness Month this January, your leading provider of quality eyeglasses and other premier eye services sheds light on this condition.
The fluids in your eyes drain into an angle formed between your iris and cornea. Structural infirmities or obstructions can disturb the drainage process, however, leading to uncontrolled eye fluid build-up. As the fluid volume increases, intraocular pressure (IOP) rises as well. This may compress your optic nerve, preventing the transfer of image signals to your brain. Eventually, glaucoma can lead to irreversible vision loss.
Types and Symptoms
Your eye doctor explains that there are two classifications of glaucoma: narrow- or wide-angle. Narrow-angle glaucoma occurs when something blocks the drainage angle, causing eye fluids to accumulate, while wide-angle glaucoma occurs when IOP increases even when there are no obstructions in the fluid-emptying channel.
Glaucoma is often asymptomatic in the early stages, which is why it is often called “the silent thief of sight.” As the disease progresses, you may experience blurry eyesight and see halos around lights. The high IOP may also cause severe and frequent headaches. Diminished peripheral visual acuity, also referred to as tunnel syndrome, is common too.
Our Treatment Methods
Although there’s no proven cure for glaucoma yet, there are ways to slow down its progression and save your vision. One of the best things you can do is to visit your trusted optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. We may perform a tonometry test to measure your IOP levels and confirm that you have glaucoma. We may also check your optic nerve and other internal eye structures for any signs of damage.
Managing glaucoma largely depends on what type you have. If you have angle-closure glaucoma, we may suggest surgery to remove the blockages from your draining channel, increasing eye fluid outflow. For those with wide-angle glaucoma, we may prescribe IOP-lowering drops to prevent optic nerve compression.
For more information about glaucoma, call Vienna Eyecare Center today at (703) 688-7003. You may also complete our form to request a consultation. We serve Reston, Vienna and McLean.