Glaucoma is one of the primary causes of blindness in the United States, and it affects as many as 4 million Americans, or 2% of all adults over the age of 40.
This disease occurs when the fluid within the eye does not fully drain. The fluid buildup leads to increased pressure within the eye. If left untreated, this pressure damages the optic nerve, resulting in irreversible vision loss.
With the most common glaucoma type, chronic open-angle glaucoma, pressure builds gradually over time. Depending on your tolerance for pressure, you may not even be aware of the condition. In its early stages, your vision remains normal. As glaucoma progresses, the pressure damages the optic nerve, resulting in the following symptoms:
- Blurring or loss of peripheral vision
- Eye pain
- Halos around lights
- Narrow field of vision
- Reddening of the eye
If left untreated, glaucoma causes eventual blindness.
Are You At Risk?
While anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at greater risk than others. These risk factors include the following:
- Age—the older you are, the higher the risk
- High blood pressure—strains the vessels in the eye
- Diabetes—increases the pressure in the eye
- Genetics—if your family has it, you may have it, too
- African American Decent—they are five times more likely to develop glaucoma
Stop Glaucoma in Its Tracks
Fortunately, your eye care physician can easily diagnose and treat glaucoma. A regular eye exam identifies glaucoma before it causes permanent optic nerve damage.
At the Eye Specialists Center, we have advanced diagnostic tools that detect glaucoma earlier than other testing methods. The OCT and GDx Scanner are comfortable, fast, and non-invasive devices that identify optic nerve damage in a matter of minutes.
ESC has the latest glaucoma treatments. While scientists have yet to discover a cure for glaucoma, these treatments control eye pressure.
- Medications – We provide a multitude of oral medications and eye drops to keep glaucoma in check. But some of these drugs may cause negative side effects or even stop working with time. At ESC, we’ll discuss which medication is best for you.
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) – Our surgeons use short pulses of energy to stimulate the trabecular meshwork of the eye. This reduces intraocular pressure without causing additional scarring. It is a repeatable procedure.
- Tube Implants – If necessary, we’ll implant silicone tubes around the eye to drain the fluid and lower eye pressure.
Don’t hesitate to call us at (708) 423-4070 to learn more about glaucoma or to schedule a treatment.