Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. It damages the optic nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain. If glaucoma isn’t treated, it can lead to total vision loss. If you live in San Antonio and have glaucoma, you should consider paying Swati Kumar OD, FAAO, a visit. Symptoms of glaucoma include:
- Seeing halos around lights
- Having difficulty seeing at night
- Seeing a decrease in your peripheral vision-having a red eye
- Eye pain
There are four main types of glaucoma: open-angle, closed-angle, normal-tension, and secondary.
Open-angle is the most common type of glaucoma, and it happens when the drainage canals in the eye become blocked, which causes pressure to build up in the eye, which can damage the optic nerve. The damage caused by glaucoma is permanent, and you can’t reverse it. Open-angle glaucoma is when the iris blocks the drainage canals in your eye. The condition develops slowly, so you might not notice any changes to your eyesight at first.
Closed Angle Glaucoma
Closed-angle is the second most common type of glaucoma. It occurs when the drainage canals are blocked in an eye with normal pressure. It’s also known as acute closed-angle because it quickly causes pain and red-eye. Closed-angle glaucoma causes the iris to become stuck in the drainage canals, which causes a sudden increase of pressure inside your eye. Closed-angle glaucoma is severe, and you’ll most likely need emergency treatment if it’s not caught early on.
Normal-tension glaucoma is a type of glaucoma that develops when the pressure in the eye is normal but the optic nerve is damaged. This type of glaucoma is rare, and it’s not clear how it happens. Normal-tension glaucoma can cause a gradual loss of vision. The condition is usually diagnosed when people have a routine eye exam.
Secondary glaucoma is not a disease on its own. An underlying condition causes secondary glaucoma. It’s when another eye condition causes the optic nerve to become damaged over time, which results in glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can develop quickly, and it’s dire. You’ll need to treat the underlying condition to stop glaucoma from getting worse. Causes can include diabetes, trauma, or inflammation. Secondary glaucoma is more common in older adults.
How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
If you have glaucoma, your doctor will carry out a comprehensive eye exam to measure the pressure of your eyes and check for any damage to the optic nerve. If there is damage, they may request an MRI or CT scan done.
How is Glaucoma Treated?
Your eye doctor may prescribe several different treatments to treat glaucoma. You must follow all your doctor’s recommendations to avoid permanent vision loss. Treatments for glaucoma can include medication, laser procedures, or surgery. You may need to use eye drops if your doctor prescribes medication for you. Laser procedures and surgery are used to open up the drainage canals of your eyes, which will lower eye pressure and stop further damage from happening to the optic nerve.
Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness globally, and it can lead to total vision loss. You should visit your eye doctor if you have glaucoma and start treatments as soon as possible.