Glaucoma Q & A
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a common disease that, if left untreated, can rob you of your eyesight. The condition occurs when fluid builds up in your eye, damaging the optic nerve, which connects your eye and brain. This causes a loss of vision over time.
Certain risk factors increase your likelihood of getting glaucoma. These factors include age (over 40), having family members with glaucoma, or having certain health conditions, such as diabetes, migraines, or high blood pressure.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Glaucoma comes in two different forms, open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Your symptoms may vary depending on which type you have and the stage of your condition. With open-angle, you may have no symptoms at all, or see “blind spots” in your vision.
In angle-closure glaucoma, you may suddenly see halos and experience blurred eyesight or mild headaches. Other symptoms to watch for include:
- Eye pain
- Eye redness
- Decreased vision
- Seeing rainbows
Vomiting and nausea are also symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma.
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
Diagnosing glaucoma begins with a complete eye exam. The experienced optometrists at Dr. Richlin, OD & Associates will check your eye pressure to see whether it’s normal or elevated, and may also:
- Measure the thickness of your cornea
- Assess your eye’s drainage angle
- Test your peripheral vision with the Humphrey FDT Perimeter Visual Field, a tool that identifies early vision loss
To make an accurate diagnosis of glaucoma, the practice uses OptoVue the latest in optical coherent technology. This is a noninvasive scan that only takes about 5 minutes. It produces full-color, three-dimensional images of your optic nerve, retina, and macula.
How is glaucoma treated?
Medications and surgery can stop glaucoma from permanently damaging your vision. Medications, such as eye drops, are typically the first line of treatment to relieve the pressure in your eye that’s harming your vision.
However, you may benefit from laser eye surgery, an outpatient procedure. Your exact treatment plan will depend on your form of glaucoma.
The optometrists at Dr. Richlin, OD & Associates are committed to safeguarding the health of your eye and preserving your vision. Take a step toward optimal eye health by calling the Beverly Hills, California, office or requesting an appointment online today.