The 'Silent Thief of Sight'. Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that begins with increased pressure within the eye. This increased pressure causes damage to occur to the optic nerve (visual pathway between the eyes and the brain) and causes a loss of side vision.There are many risk factors for glaucoma, some of which include:
- Increased eye pressure
- Ethnicity (Higher incidence in African-Americans)
- Family History
- Increased Age
- Those with Diabetes and/or Hypertension
- Prolonged Corticosteroid use
Our physicians will evaluate your eye pressure along with the appearance of the optic nerve in each of your eyes. If your eye pressure is elevated or your optic nerves look larger than average, they may order a series of tests to rule out the presence of glaucoma. These tests are performed in our office on a later date. They include a repeat eye pressure test, a visual field evaluation to detect any problems with your side vision, and a procedure called gonioscopy to evaluate the balance between fluid production within the eye and the rate that this fluid drains out of the eye.
If your physician determines that you have glaucoma, many treatment options exist. Many patients can simply begin using drops to lower their eye pressure to an acceptable level and follow up more often with our office to evaluate for any progression of the disease. However, some patients are better candidates for other pressure lowering procedures including laser therapy and possible surgery. Our physicians will take all the time needed to explain this condition to you and cover all of the treatment/follow up options that exist.