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One of the leading causes of blindness for people over 50.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damages the nerve connecting the eye to the brain. Left untreated, glaucoma can result in permanent blindness in a few years. The seriousness of this common eye disease underscores the importance of having regular eye exams.

If you haven’t seen an eye doctor within the past 2 year, call Harbor Eyecare Center today or schedule an appointment online.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to your optic nerve. It typically results from a build-up of fluid inside the eye. The pressure caused by this extra fluid damages the optic nerve, leading to blindness.

There are two primary types of glaucoma: open-angle and angle-closure.

Open-angle glaucoma (a.k.a. wide-angle glaucoma) is the most common. With this type of glaucoma, your eye’s drainage system looks normal but the fluid doesn’t leave the eye as it’s designed to do.

Angle-closure glaucoma is more common in Asia than in Western countries. It is also sometimes called chronic angle-closure glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma is marked by the drain space between your cornea and iris narrowing. This can cause your intraocular pressure to suddenly buildup. Farsightedness and cataracts are also associated with this type of glaucoma.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Glaucoma doesn’t usually display any symptoms in the early stages, which is why early detection during yearly eye exams is essential.

The following are some common symptoms of glaucoma:

  • Halos surrounding lights
  • Redness in your eyes
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Eye pain
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Narrowed, or tunnel, vision

Who is at risk for developing glaucoma?

Anyone can develop glaucoma. But in most cases, it affects adults age 40 and older.

Other risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Taking certain medications such as prednisone
  • Family history of glaucoma

How is glaucoma diagnosed and treated?

Your eye doctor will use several tests to diagnose glaucoma and monitor its progression. Two key diagnostic tools are Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Visual Field testing.

OCT is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina, helping to detect glaucoma early and monitor its progression.

Visual Field testing assesses your entire scope of vision, including peripheral vision, to identify blind spots or areas of vision loss.

These tests, along with intraocular pressure measurement and optic nerve examination, form a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and managing glaucoma. Early detection is key to preserving vision.

Treatment options for glaucoma typically aim to lower intraocular pressure and may include eye drops, laser treatments, or in some cases, surgery. Your eye doctor will determine the best treatment plan based on the type and severity of your glaucoma, as well as the results from tests like OCT and Visual Field.

At Harbor Eyecare Center, we partner with you to protect the health of your eyes and your vision. Learn more about glaucoma by calling our office or by scheduling an appointment online.