Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. It is estimated that 1 in 50 adults over the age 35 has glaucoma. Glaucoma is a hereditary disease and is more likely to develop in people who are severely nearsighted, have diabetes, and/or are of African decent. Early symptoms of glaucoma are hard to detect, but with proper treatment visual damage can be prevented.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting the image projected onto the retina, to the visual center of the brain. Glaucoma, can cause blind spots in the
peripheral (side) field of vision.
The eye contains a watery fluid called the aqueous, which normally circulates through the eye, leaves through a drainage system and returns to the blood stream. In glaucoma, the drainage system becomes blocked, or there is an overproduction of fluid, which causes the pressure in the eye to increase. The increased pressure can damage the optic nerve, which can lead to vision loss. Poor blood flow to the optic nerve, herbs, medications, diabetes, and other diseases can also cause glaucoma-like vision loss. It is not known what causes the malfunction of the fluid system. There is much research being done to further understand glaucoma.
A thorough eye exam can detect whether you have glaucoma. Specialized tests such as visual field testing and optic nerve photography are essential in determining your risk of vision loss. If you are found to have glaucoma, treatment with medication, lasers or advanced surgeries can effectively control the condition.
I couldn't have asked for better treatment or outcome. The staff at both your office and the surgical center are superior by every measure. They are professional, knowledgeable and respectful of all patients. It was almost a fun experience! Although the cataracts in both eyes had impaired my vision, the thought of eye surgery was scary. But - my fears were all for "naught" - it was such a quick, PAINLESS procedure, I wondered why I had waited so long!
- Carol V.