What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease which is associated with a dangerous build up of pressure in the eye. Eventually, this pressure can damage the optic nerve which is responsible for relaying visual information to the brain.
If Glaucoma goes untreated, peripheral vision will begin to decrease and can eventually cause total blindness.
Fortunately, medical advances have made it easier to diagnose and treat glaucoma. If detected and treated early, glaucoma need not cause even moderate vision loss. But having glaucoma does mean regular monitoring and treatment for the rest of your life.
- Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness
- 50% of the 3 million Americans suffering from Glaucoma will have some vision loss due to Glaucoma
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Slow loss of peripheral, or side vision, and eventual blindness.
Chronic Glaucoma has NO warning symptoms in its early stages. In later stages, symptoms may include frequent mild headaches, especially upon waking; increased difficulty with night vision; recurring redness in one or both eyes, especially if accompanied by blurred vision and/or pain; a frequent change of eyeglass prescriptions; a noticeable loss of peripheral vision.
There are a variety of tools used to test for the presence of Glaucoma
Measures eye pressure by pressing against the surface of the eye or blowing a puff of air at the eye.
VISUAL FIELD TESTING
Determines if there are any blind spots by testing your peripheral vision.
Used to view internal eye structure to determine if anything unusual is preventing proper drainage.
Used to determine how well fluid flows through the various drainage areas of the eye.
Uses an ultrasonic wave to determine the thickness of the corneas.
Used to examine the anterior chamber angle, the portion of the eye that directs aqueous humor (the fluid produced by the eye).
Treatment of Glaucoma
Different types of glaucoma will require different treatment. At The Eye Centers of Racine & Kenosha, we offer both surgical and non-surgical glaucoma treatment.
When patients first visit our office, a glaucoma screening is performed. based on the results of the exam, our physicians may recommend one or all of the following treatment options.
- Medication: Eye drops or oral medications may be prescribed to relieve pressure within the eye.
- Laser Surgery: When drainage is an issue, SLT laser surgery can be used to improve the flow of fluid.
- Conventional Surgery: In certain cases, eye surgery may be necessary to prevent damage to the optic nerve. Surgery is generally reserved for cases where the disease cannot be controlled with medication and laser treatment has already been performed or ruled out.
Tips on how to better manage your Glaucoma:
- Have clear instructions regarding the time, amount, and side effects of your glaucoma medication.
- Stick reminders on the refrigerator door or on the medicine cabinet.
- Create a routine around administration of medication to lower the chance of forgetfulness; for example, associate taking medication with an activity in your day such as eating or brushing your teeth.
- Place your glaucoma medications in highly visible locations.
- Use small pocket timers or wrist watches with alarms to remind you to take your medications.
Here at The Eye Centers of Racine & Kenosha we keep up to date on new research and new treatments. Call 262 637 0500 today! to scheduled your appointment.
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Take your first step toward clearer vision.