Glaucoma Symptoms and Glaucoma Treatment in Richardson
An eye disease involving abnormally high pressure in the eye, glaucoma may cause permanent vision impairment if damage to the optic nerve occurs. If glaucoma remains undetected and ocular pressure continues to rise, the optic nerve will begin to deteriorate and lose its ability to transmit visual signals correctly to the brain. In its early stages, glaucoma is painless and asymptomatic, which is why adults over 40 need to get a comprehensive eye exam from their Richardson optometrist every year.
The first sign of glaucoma is negligible, involving subtle loss of peripheral vision. However, this symptom will not be noticeable until glaucoma has progressed. Blurriness of side vision is then followed by reduced sharpness and acuity of overall vision. Unfortunately, by the time someone with glaucoma detects visual problems, the disease is in an advanced stage and vision loss is likely to be permanent.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Open angle glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma diagnosed in adults, involves drainage canals in the eyes becoming clogged. Fluid build-up in the eye increases intraocular pressure, a painless development causing optic nerve damage. Risk factors for glaucoma include age, smoking, having high blood pressure and medical disorders affecting the circulatory system. Researchers think there may be a genetic component to glaucoma as well.
To decrease pressure in the eye, your Richardson optometrist may prescribe prostaglandin or beta blocker eye drops to decrease production of eye fluids. If eye drops fail to reduce intraocular pressure, a combination of eye drops and oral medication may be needed to reduce pressure and prevent optic nerve damage.
In some cases, glaucoma patients may need minimally invasive laser surgery to modify eye ducts so that fluids flow more easily out of the eye. After undergoing glaucoma laser surgery, it may not be necessary to take medications as long as eye pressure remains normal and stabilizes.
For more information about glaucoma symptoms, glaucoma treatment or to schedule an eye exam appointment, call your Richardson optometrist today at (972) 231-3439.