Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious condition of the eye. It occurs when your eye's drainage system is not functioning properly, which causes an increase in eye pressure. The increase in pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve. If this condition goes untreated, it can result in tunnel vision and permanent vision loss. Because glaucoma is such a serious condition, you should schedule annual exams with Riviera Opticare.

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Types Of Glaucoma

There are two types of glaucoma. The most common type is open-angle glaucoma. It occurs when the fluid in your eyes drain slowly, like a slow kitchen drain. This type shows no symptoms until vision loss has occurred.

The second type is less common and is called angle-closure glaucoma. This type occurs when the fluid in your eyes cannot drain at all, causing a rapid increase in eye pressure.

Who Is At Risk For Glaucoma?

Although anyone can develop glaucoma, certain risk factors can increase your chance of getting the disease. These include:

  • Being 60 years of age or older.
  • Having a family history of glaucoma
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia.
  • Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids
  • Previous eye injury or eye surgery

What Are the Symptoms Of Glaucoma?

Open-angle glaucoma often shows no symptoms until vision loss occurs. In the later stages, you can develop patchy blind spots in your peripheral vision. In the advanced stages, tunnel vision can occur.

Angle-closure glaucoma causes the pressure in your eyes to increase rapidly, which causes early, severe symptoms. These include:

  • Severe headaches
  • Severe eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

Glaucoma can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. During a typical exam, your eye doctor will check your eye pressure. If it is elevated, your doctor will perform further testing. These include:

  • Checking for damage to the optic nerve
  • Pachymetry to measure the thickness of the cornea
  • Gonioscopy to inspect the drainage angle
  • Visual field test to check for areas of vision loss

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma; however, there are treatment options to slow the progression of the disease. These include:

  • Eye drops to lower the pressure in your eyes.
  • Laser trabeculoplasty is used for open-angle glaucoma. It is a laser surgical procedure to open the drainage system, allowing the fluid to drain easily.
  • Trabeculectomy can help drain the fluid in the eye. Your eye doctor would make a tiny incision in the white of your eye to remove part of the drainage system, allowing the fluid to drain easily.
  • Drainage tubes: Drainage tubes can be placed in your eyes to help drain the fluid.

Call Riviera Opticare Today

Because glaucoma is such a serious condition, it is essential that you schedule an annual eye exam with Riviera Opticare. Our optometrist treats patients in Mesa and Scottsdale and can diagnose glaucoma early. When the condition is caught early, we can create a treatment plan to slow the progression of the disease. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.

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