Glaucoma actually refers to a group of diseases marked by increased intraocular pressure (IOP). If left untreated, it can result in optic nerve damage and vision loss. Today, your eye doctor from AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care discusses this condition as we observe Glaucoma Awareness Month this January.
Mechanism and Causes
Your eye fluids play a central role in keeping your IOP stable. They empty into the trabecular meshwork, located in the angle formed by your iris and cornea. However, this space may be partially or completely blocked, leading to uncontrolled eye fluid build-up. As fluid volume in your eyes rises, your IOP increases as well. This may compress your optic nerve, preventing it from carrying image signals to your brain for interpretation. Without prompt management, this may result in vision irregularities or worse, blindness.
Types and Symptoms of Glaucoma
Your trusted eye care center explains that glaucoma has two major types: open-angle or angle closure. The former occurs when your eye fluids continue to accumulate even when the drainage angle is wide open. The latter, on the other hand, develops when something blocks the emptying channel, resulting in increased eye fluid volume and IOP levels.
You may not notice any symptoms at first, which is why this condition is also referred to as “the silent thief of sight.” However, the disease may continue to advance, resulting in blurry vision, frequent headaches and visual halos. You may also slowly lose your peripheral vision, popularly known as “tunnel syndrome.” Vision loss may happen as well if you neglect the symptoms.
Although glaucoma is considered an incurable condition, there are ways to slow down this disease’s progression. We may prescribe IOP-lowering eye drops or perform surgeries to remove any obstructions in the drainage channel. Another thing you should do is to have eye exams regularly. This way, we can monitor your IOP levels through a tonometry test. We may also assess your peripheral vision and optic nerve for any signs of changes.
The sooner we identify any irregularities, the better chances we have of managing this condition and saving your eyesight. For more information about glaucoma, call us today at (757) 772-0086. You may also complete our form to request an appointment. We serve Virginia Beach and nearby communities in Virginia.