Get A Handle On Glaucoma

Glaucoma shouldn’t be taken lightly because it can lead to lose of eyesight! If you suspect that you may have it, you should consult with your ophthalmologist at Sears Optical so that appropriate actions can be made.

Due to Damaged Optic Nerve

The optic nerve sends signals from the eyes to the brain that, in turn, becomes the images you can see. But in glaucoma, it becomes damaged due to excessive pressure in the eyes resulting in issues with your eyesight.  

But it isn’t just a damaged optic nerve. The eyes also make a fluid useful in nourishing their tissues and moisturizing them. The fluid itself flows through the drainage angle, a natural channel in the eyes.

In glaucoma, the drainage angle isn’t functional as well as it should. The fluid starts to accumulate resulting in pressure build-up inside the eyes.

Glaucoma may also be inherited, such as when a close relative (e.g., parent, sibling, or aunt) has it. The risks for getting it also increases with age – people 40 years old and above have the higher risk – as well as because of your ethnicity (i.e., Hispanic and African-American). The condition can also be caused by eye injury, high pressure in the eyes, surgery, diabetes, and use of eye drops with steroids, among others.  

Determining Its Presence

The best way to detect glaucoma is through regular eye exams, especially when you have the abovementioned risk factors. During a regular eye exam, your doctor will perform many or all of the following tests:

  • Testing your peripheral, or side, vision
  • Measuring your eye pressure
  • Measuring your cornea’s thickness
  • Taking a photo of your optic nerve and checking for damage to it
  • Checking the channel in your eye

Glaucoma can be managed well if and when it’s diagnosed early. You should never self-treat since medications not prescribed by an eye doctor can worsen the condition. Your eye doctor will recommend the following treatments:

  • Eye drops and/or pills, which cut the amount of fluid in the eyes and aid in draining off excess fluid. Inform your doctor in case of side effects, especially redness, stinging and burning. Follow the recommended dosage for best results.
  • Laser surgery, known as laser trabeculoplasty, for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma. The laser beam will be directed at the eyes so that small holes can be made in the drainage channel. The excess fluid can then flow out and pressure in the eyes can be reduced.
  • Surgery, or trabeculectomy, is a last resort since there are risks involved. Your doctor may deem it necessary to perform a second operation in severe cases.

Glaucoma isn’t the end of your sight but you have to be careful about preventing it. We always suggest regular eye exams every year or every 2 years.

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