Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Fortunately, the skilled optometrists at Valley Eye Professionals provide early treatment to greatly reduce your chances of developing glaucoma. Call the office, located in the Studio City area of Los Angeles, or book an appointment online to be screened for glaucoma and to learn how to manage the condition if you do have it.
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which increased pressure within the eye caused by a backup of fluid damages the optic nerve and eventually compromises your vision. There are several types of glaucoma, and they don’t usually exhibit symptoms prior to vision loss. Regular eye appointments to check for glaucoma can help identify it early and increase the chances your vision can be preserved.
Anyone can develop glaucoma at any age. However, it most commonly occurs in older adults. In rare cases, babies may be born with glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for at least 90% of all cases. It occurs when the drainage canals within the eye become clogged, building up pressure behind the eye. This clogging develops slowly, so symptoms aren’t felt or noticed until vision starts to deteriorate. You start to lose side vision and may compensate by simply turning your head from side to side.
Get checked regularly, especially if glaucoma runs in your family, to monitor your eye health and catch the disease as early as possible.
The optometrists at Valley Eye Professionals measure your intraocular pressure during your regular visits to determine your risk of glaucoma. They might use a procedure known as optical coherence tomography (OCT) to visualize and assess any potential damage to the optic nerve. They may also do a test called retinal photography, which involves taking a digital picture of the back of the eye to get a better look at the optic nerve and retina.
If your optometrist sees damage that seems severe, they’ll perform a visual field test. This test measures your central and peripheral vision.
Your optometrist also evaluates the integrity of your optic nerve. Normally, this nerve is round or slightly oval with a centralized cup. Glaucoma affects this cup so they check for enlargement of the rim or other changes.
Glaucoma cannot be cured and the damage cannot be undone. However, you can control its progression and changes in your vision with treatment. This is why early diagnosis is key.
Your optometrist might prescribe eye drops to lower eye pressure, thus helping to preserve your vision. Always follow the directions for these medications.
To learn more about glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, call Valley Eye Professionals or book an appointment online.