What Is Glaucoma and How Does an Optometrist Treat It?
Glaucoma is a serious eye disorder that can lead to permanent loss of sight. Having regular eye exams at your eye doctor can catch this condition in its early stages and save your sight. The professional service that you will receive at Keelan Eye Care in Brick Township, NJ is a first line of defense of saving your sight from glaucoma. You will benefit from the expert skill of Dr. Patrick Keelan and Dr. Martha Nguyen-Keelan as they help to preserve and improve your vision.
What Does it Mean to Have Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disorder that usually occurs due to an improperly high pressure that exists within your eye(s). This high pressure can cause damage to your optic nerve. Since the optic nerve is the channel of communication between your eye and brain, damage to the optic nerve can cause unrepairable vision loss.
Fluid inside of your eye keeps it lubricated and functioning properly. New fluid is naturally produced, and the old fluid is released through a drainage system out the front of your eye. If your eye overproduces fluid or the drainage system stops functioning properly, then pressure can start to build up within your eye.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Negative effects occurring in the early stages of glaucoma can be so gradual that you may not realize that vision changes are taking place. To keep permanent damage from happening to your optic nerve, it is important to have regular eye exams. A simple pressure test, usually the "puff of air" test, can let your optometrist know if the early stages of glaucoma are developing. Here are a few symptoms you can stay on the lookout for:
- Tunnel vision
- Patchy blind spots in either your central or peripheral vision
- Blurred vision
- Halos around light sources
- Eye redness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bad headaches
Treatment for Glaucoma
Treatment for your glaucoma is dependent upon what is causing it. Your treatment regimen will most likely be a permanent part of your life. Even though lost vision cannot be restored, further vision loss can be slowed or prevented altogether.
A common treatment for glaucoma is prescription eye drops. These eyedrops either will decrease the production of eye fluid or improve the draining process. Depending on your situation, more than one type of eyedrop may be prescribed. Use the eye drops in complete compliance with the instructions from your eye doctor.
In some instances, an oral medication may be prescribed. Be sure to discuss the possible side effects of these medications with your optometrist.
Surgery may be necessary in some cases. Clogged drainage channels can be opened up with laser surgery. Drainage tubes can also be placed in your eye to help with drain blockage issues. Other glaucoma surgeries are available to help reduce eye pressure or are performed during emergencies.
Regular Eye Checkups Important in Fight Against Glaucoma
Optic nerve damage can lead to blindness. It is therefore imperative to have regular eye exams so that glaucoma can be caught at an early stage. These regular exams are also important if glaucoma has already been discovered in your eyes. Your glaucoma can be monitored, and aggressive treatment can help to reduce the damage it could cause. You can trust the skilled optometrists at Keelan Eye Care in Brick Township, NJ to care for your eyesight. Make an appointment with us today to protect your vision of tomorrow.