The Basics of Glaucoma and Your Vision

by Nov 17, 2017


Glaucoma is a progressive disease that affects the optic nerve of the eye.  The optic nerve is responsible for sending information from the eye to the brain.  Continued damage to the optic nerve due can eventually lead to vision loss.  Glaucoma occurs when there is too much fluid in the eye and the pressure inside rises.  The increased pressure causes compression against the optic nerve and resulting in damage.  Risk factors for the condition include increased age, family history of the disease, and being of African American or Hispanic descent.  


What are the Symptoms?

Perhaps the most concerning fact about glaucoma is that it is a painless, gradual, and irreversible process. One’s peripheral vision is often the first to be affected. The loss of side vision may not be noticed until late in the disease, when only a small portion of central vision remains.  Once vision loss from glaucoma occurs it is cannot be restored.  Fortunately, glaucoma is a very manageable condition; vision loss can be easily prevented if it is caught in the early stages.


How Can We Diagnose Glaucoma?

If an eye care provider suspects glaucoma, they will perform a series of tests to confirm the disease.  Our doctors test the eye pressure, peripheral vision, corneal thickness, dilate the eyes, and asses the optic nerve and its surrounding tissues with a microscope and a high tech retinal scanner to assess for and its components for optic nerve for damage. 


Can Glaucoma Be Cured? 

Although there is no “cure” for glaucoma, there are a variety of treatment options available.  The primary treatment  is usually eye drops, although some cases may be initially managed with lasers. Both treatments help lower the eye pressure by decreasing the amount of fluid in the eye.  If drops are not effective enough in slowing the progression of the disease, the doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to more effectively treat the disease.


If you have any further questions about glaucoma call us at (610) 828-9701.. We serve Lafayette Hill, Norristown, and Philadelphia, PA.

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