What causes Glaucoma?

What Causes Glaucoma

Team Glaucoma

For many people, glaucoma can be a debilitating problem that causes vision loss and even blindness without warning signs. What causes glaucoma, and how can you protect your eyesight? Here’s what you should know.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions caused by damage to an optic nerve, which is vital to eyesight.

Your optic nerves are located at the back of each eye and carry messages from your eyes to your brain to help create the visual images that you see. Once damage to an optic nerve occurs, it is irreversible.  

The most common form of glaucoma – called open-angle glaucoma – is believed to result from eye pressure caused by excess fluid in the eyes. 

Some other less common types of glaucoma may be linked to:

  • Tumors and cataracts (cloudiness in the lens of the eye)
  • Eye injuries that can lead to blockages in the eyes’ draining system
  • Congenital causes that are present at birth

Risk Factors for Glaucoma

Anyone can get glaucoma. However, certain people are at greater risk. The Glaucoma Research Foundation states that:

  • African Americans are 15 times more likely to be visually impaired from glaucoma than Caucasians. 
  • Other high-risk groups include: people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

As noted, many people do not experience symptoms of glaucoma until it is more advanced. That’s why eye exams are important – especially for people at greater risk.

If there are early warning of glaucoma, they may vary depending on the type of glaucoma and may include:

  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Seeing rings or halos around lights

Testing and Treatment for Glaucoma

Here at Andrews Eye Care Center, we offer a number of specialized tests for glaucoma, which can help people get earlier diagnosis and treatment to protect their eyesight. Testing offered includes:

  • Tonometry tests to measure the internal pressure in the eye
  • Pachymetry tests to determine whether you are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma 
  • Perimetry tests (visual field) to tell whether glaucoma is impacting your vision

If treatment is needed, the first line of defense is eyedrops. However, other treatments such as oral medications and laser treatment or surgery may be required for some patients.

The good news is that many people with glaucoma are able to maintain their eyesight with professional care.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you have concerns about glaucoma, we invite you to talk to a member of our team and discuss testing. We also encourage you to have regular eye exams as part of your overall health maintenance. Scheduling an appointment at Andrews Eye Care Center is easy. Just call 330-527-3937 or request an appointment online.