A healthy level of eye fluids is essential to maintaining your intraocular pressure (IOP). When you develop glaucoma, however, these fluids fail to empty, resulting in their build up. If left uncontrolled, this may result in high IOP levels that could lead to optic nerve compression and potential vision problems. For your understanding, let the trusted eye doctor at AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care explain what happens inside your eyes when you develop this condition.
How Glaucoma Affects Your Vision
Your eyes work similarly to a sink. Once you turn on the faucet, water naturally flows into the drain and through the pipes. The eyes of those affected with glaucoma, however, are like clogged drains. While water may flow smoothly, obstructions or structural infirmities may prevent its normal emptying. As fluid volume increases, the pressure inside the pipes or your optic nerve rises as well. Without prompt management, this may result in optic nerve damage later on, causing visual impairments or worse, vision loss.
Causes, Types, and Symptoms
According to your local expert eye care center, there are two major types of glaucoma based on their underlying cause. Your eye fluids normally drain through the trabecular meshwork found at the angle where your iris and cornea meets. In primary open-angle glaucoma, this structure suddenly develops problems in emptying your eye fluids for unknown reasons. On the other hand, angle-closure glaucoma happens when structural obstructions narrow the angle’s opening, decreasing fluid draining rate.
Glaucoma doesn’t generally show any signs or symptoms in its early stages. As the disease progresses, however, you may experience headaches, eye strain, and blurry eyesight. You may also report seeing halos around lights or having restricted peripheral visual access, also known as tunnel vision.
Our Glaucoma Treatment
Once you notice any of these manifestations, see your expert optometrist immediately. We may first perform comprehensive eye exams which may include tonometry tests to measure your IOP level. If results show values above 12-22 mmHg, we may recommend applying prescription eye drops to lower your eye pressure. For more severe cases, we may suggest undergoing traditional or laser surgery to help drain your eye fluids more effectively.
If you have any further questions about glaucoma, call us at (757) 340-7070 or complete our appointment request form.