Over 2.7 million Americans have glaucoma, which can damage your optic nerve and lead to blindness. At Project Eyecare Optometry in Mission Viejo, California, Connie Tsai, OD, Vincent Cano, OD, and their team of eye care specialists diagnose and treat glaucoma to protect your eye health and prevent blindness. If you’re due for an eye exam or are concerned about glaucoma, call or make an appointment online today.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages your optic nerve and affects your peripheral vision. It typically involves increased intraocular pressure but not always. It’s a leading cause of blindness. In most cases, it doesn’t cause any symptoms or warning signs until your vision is permanently damaged.
The two most common types of glaucoma are open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma. You have small openings in your eyes between your iris and cornea called drainage angles that allow extra fluid to leave your eye. If these drainage angles are affected somehow, it can result in one of these two types of glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma occurs when your drainage angles are open, however there is still damage occurring at the optic nerve, causing potential peripheral vision loss. This typically involves elevated intraocular pressure but not in every case.
Closed-angle glaucoma is much less common and occurs when your drainage angles are blocked. Closed-angle glaucoma typically develops rapidly and causes an acute glaucoma attack. If you have closed-angle glaucoma, your symptoms emerge suddenly and might include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, go to your emergency room for immediate treatment to preserve your eyesight.
The best way to catch glaucoma in its early stages is to have comprehensive eye exams annually. During your exam, the team at Project Eyecare Optometry uses iCare tonometry to measure the pressure in your eyes. We do not use a non-contact tonometer, or “air-puff” test.
Your optometrist also examines your drainage angles and optic nerve, and tests your peripheral vision.
Treatment for glaucoma depends on the severity of your condition and what’s causing it. For example, you might benefit from medicated eye drops to reduce your eye pressure either by improving drainage or decreasing the amount of fluid produced.
If necessary, the team can provide a referral to an ophthalmologist who performs laser surgery like trabeculoplasty and iridotomy, and other eye operations for glaucoma.
If you’re due for an eye exam or have concerns about glaucoma, call Project Eyecare Optometry or make an appointment online today.