Glaucoma is an eye disease in which, in a majority of cases, the normal fluid pressure inside the eye rises. This rise in pressure is caused by increased input of fluid into the eye or reduced drainage out of the eye. As the pressure rises, the optic nerve tissue is damaged. Sometimes the pressure does not rise, but the nerve tissue slowly starves from poor blood supply which causes poor nutrition to the nerve. The end result of damaged nerve tissue is the same.
Some people are at higher risk for glaucoma:
- African Americans over the age of 40
- People over the age of 60
- Those with a family history of glaucoma
- People with a history of blunt trauma to their eye
At first, there are NO SYMPTOMS, which is why routine eye exams are important for your Optometrist to monitor your eye pressure and optic nerve health. Later, there is some loss of side vision. Objects straight ahead are seen clearly, but objects to the side are missed. As the disease worsens, more and more side vision is lost.
Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser procedures, or surgery. These drugs and procedures work to either make less fluid or to improve its drainage out of the eye. Glaucoma is chronic (life-long). You should expect to be on treatment for life. Regular visits with your doctor are needed to watch for changes in pressure and side vision.
At SeeRite Eye Clinic, we are firm believers of education and prevention. As such, we carry the latest technology in diagnostic equipment, including Optical Coherence Tomography which analyzes the nerve fiber layer for ganglion cell loss. This imaging system then compares your findings to a normative database to assess the health of your optic nerves much earlier than we could previously detect with the naked eye. Visual Field testing is also performed to assess your peripheral vision, as well as Gonioscopy if needed to assess the drainage system in your eyes.