Simply put, glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve. Fluids build up in the frontal portion of the eye, causing pressure and ultimately impacting the nerve. Without treatment, it can cause blindness.
Millions of Americans have glaucoma. So, what does their prognosis look like? Can glaucoma be cured?
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma can be both chronic and progressive. And, as we mentioned, it occurs as a result of damage to the optic nerve. But there are a few different types of glaucoma, such as:
Open-Angle Glaucoma: This type is the most common glaucoma and it is often referred to as chronic. In order to catch it early, regular eye exams are necessary.
Angle-Closure Glaucoma: Acute glaucoma, this type involves a rapid build-up of fluid in the eye and constitutes an emergency.
Congenital Glaucoma: Some babies are born with glaucoma due to a defect in the angle of the eye. As a result, fluids don’t drain properly.
Secondary Glaucoma: Secondary glaucoma is often the result of something else – such as an injury or medication.
Normal-Tension Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma involves damage to the optic nerve, but without the usual buildup of fluid.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that may come in many forms, but it can lead to the same outcome. The best defense is to know the risk factors, what symptoms to look for, and to undergo an examination routinely with an eye doctor.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
The symptoms you may experience with glaucoma will vary based on the type. For instance, some types of glaucoma can cause:
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Seeing rings or halos
- Eye pain
- Head pain
- Hazy vision
It is worth noting that some types of glaucoma in their early stages do not have any symptoms at all to indicate that something may be wrong. In other words, you could have it, but you may not even know it. This further emphasizes why having your eyes examined routinely is so important.
A few factors may put you at higher risk for developing the condition, including:
- Over the age of 40
- A family history
- Individuals of African American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent
- Poor vision, nearsighted, or farsighted
- Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease
- High eye pressure (tested at routine eye appointments)
Can Glaucoma Be Cured?
When diagnosed with glaucoma, many people fear that they are facing vision loss and a future of blindness. Years ago, that was the case.
Today, however, treatments are available to help patients keep their vision and many patients who are diagnosed with glaucoma will never experience blindness. The key is catching it early.
While, there is no cure for glaucoma, as long as treatment is sought and followed, the disease can be very well managed.
Glaucoma Screening at Andrews Eyecare Center
At Andrews Eyecare Center, we never want our patients to struggle with their eyesight. We will examine your eyes using the most state-of-the-art equipment and offer the most advanced treatment available – especially when it comes to glaucoma. This gives you the best chance of maintaining a healthy vision for years to come.
Or, request an appointment online.