The best treatment available for glaucoma is the lowering of intraocular pressure. Only with a comprehensive eye exam can you know for sure if any signs and symptoms you are exhibiting are a result of glaucoma. While there is no cure for glaucoma, early treatment can stop damage and help prevent further vision loss.
Glaucoma is the term used for a group of eye disorders that damage the optic nerve and is the most common form of optic nerve damage that leads to vision loss. This happens when extra fluid that builds up on the front part of the eye begins to put pressure on the optic nerve. This pressure is referred to as intraocular pressure. The optic nerve is responsible for sending signals from the retina to the brain creating images that we see. Glaucoma does not discriminate in who is affected by it and glaucoma affects all races and occurs without any cause. Some risk factors include family history of glaucoma, farsightedness, nearsightedness, high blood pressure, long term use of corticosteroids, previous eye injury or surgery, or those with diabetes. In fact, diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma.
Symptoms of glaucoma include eye pain or pressure, headaches, rainbow-colored halos around lights, blurred vision, tunnel vision, blind spots, nausea, vomiting and red eyes. Because there is no cure, early detection is the best way to protect eye health and prevent vision loss.
At Kalamazoo Ophthalmology, we invite you to come in for a comprehensive eye exam to determine if you have glaucoma and then prescribe the best course of treatment. Testing will include measuring intraocular pressure, testing for optic nerve damage with a dilated eye exam and imaging tests, checking for areas of vision loss, measuring corneal thickness, and inspecting the drainage angle. Glaucoma treatment typically begins with prescription eye drops that work to decrease eye pressure by improving how the fluid drains from the eye or by decreasing the amount of fluid in the eye. These eye drop medications can include prostaglandins, beta blockers, alpha-adrenergic agonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, rho kinase inhibitors, or miotic or cholinergic agents. If these eye drop medications, or any oral medications such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, do not successfully aid in reducing eye pressure, your doctor may suggest surgical options. Surgery types include laser therapy, filtering surgery, drainage tubes and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS).
Eye exams are the easiest and surest ways to catch glaucoma early, get you started on a treatment plan and save your vision. Don’t put off your appointment for another day. Our caring team of experts are here to answer your questions and help to restore or slow down any further vision loss. Call Kalamazoo Ophthalmology by 269-329-5860 or book your appointment online at WEBSITE.