Majority of people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from this increased pressure, it is important to see your eye doctor regularly so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated long before permanent visual loss occurs. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma most often occurs in adults over age 40, but it can also occur in young adults, children, and even infants. In African-Americans, glaucoma occurs more frequently and at an earlier age and with greater loss of vision. Glaucoma gradually reduces your peripheral vision, and by the time it’s noticed, permanent damage has already occurred. Eventually, tunnel vision develops and only straight-ahead vision may be possible.
People at high risk for glaucoma due to high intraocular pressures, family history, age or optic nerve appearance may need more frequent visits. Glaucoma exams and glaucoma treatment are available in San Francisco, San Jose, and Santa Rosa.
An acute glaucoma attack produces sudden symptoms such as eye pain, headaches, halos around lights, mid-dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea, and vomiting. These signs may last for a few hours, then return again for another round. Each attack takes part of your field of vision. Other signs include headaches, blurred vision, difficulty adapting to darkness, or haloes around lights.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which is the part of the eye that carries the images we see from the eye to the brain. The optic nerve is made up of many nerve fibers. Glaucoma damages nerve fibers, which can cause blind spots in our vision and vision loss to develop.
Even people with normal intraocular pressure can experience vision loss from glaucoma. This condition is called normal tension glaucoma. In this type of glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged even though the intraocular pressure is considered normal. Normal tension glaucoma is not well understood, but we do know that lowering optic nerve damage has been shown to slow progression of this form of glaucoma also. This type is seen more commonly in people of Asian descent.
Primary open-angle glaucoma has few symptoms in the early stages. Blindness can result if it is left untreated.
People at risk for glaucoma may have one or more risk factors, including elevated intraocular pressure, a family history of glaucoma, a particular ethnic background, advanced age, or certain optic nerve conditions.
Treating glaucoma is preserving eyesight by slowing the damage to the nerve in the back of the eye (optic nerve). Most treatment aims to prevent further damage to the optic nerve by lowering the pressure in the eyes. Though glaucoma can usually be treated with medications, such as eye drops; laser treatment or surgery is sometimes required.
The doctors at LaserVue Eye Center are proud to offer the diagnoses and treatment of Glaucoma at our three locations in the San Francisco Bay area. Please call 1.800.527.3745 to schedule your appointment today.