The team at Peña Eye Institute has helped countless patients see the world better. In some cases, we've helped save the vision of people in McAllen. Case in point, we offer tests and treatments for glaucoma, an eye condition that can cause total blindness.
Many people in the United States suffer from glaucoma but don't realize it. Let's take a moment to consider the signs, symptoms, and testing process for glaucoma.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss. Whether open-angle or closed-angle, glaucoma causes lasting damage to the optic nerve that results in the loss of vision. Glaucoma is incurable and irreversible, though with proper diagnosis and treatment, eye care specialists can stop the vision loss or at least slow it down considerably.
How Common Is Glaucoma?
Studies estimate that roughly 3 million American suffer from glaucoma, yet alarmingly, just half of that number realize that they actually have it. This is why proper screening is so important, and why knowing the signs and symptoms of the condition could literally save your eyesight.
Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma
It's helpful to consider symptoms for the two types of glaucoma sperately.
Some of the most common signs of open-angle glaucoma (more common) include:
- Blind spots in your peripheral vision
- Blind spots in your central vision
- Tunnel vision
Some of the most common signs of closed-angle glaucoma (less common) include:
- Blurry vision
- Halos and glare
- Red eye
- Serious headaches
- Ocular pain
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
Risk factors for glaucoma are important to consider as these can point to a greater likelihood of experiencing vision loss. Common risk factors include:
- Family history of glaucoma
- Issues with high internal eye pressure
- Advanced age (60 or older)
- High blood pressure
- Sickle cell anemia
- Heart disease
- Black or Hispanic background
- Serious nearsightedness
- Previous eye surgery
- Long-term use of corticosteroid drugs
If any of these risk factors are present and you notice the above symptoms, be sure to speak with an eye care specialist right away.
Diagnosis of Glaucoma
There are many different tests available for glaucoma. Some of the most common tests that may be performed include:
- Tonometry – This is a means of measuring intraocular pressure to determine if there is an issue
- Ophthalmoscopy – This test will allow eye care specialists to examine the optic nerve
- Perimetry – This is a visual field test to measure a patient's peripheral vision
- Pachymetry – This test will measure the thickness of the corneas
- Gonioscopy – This test allows an eye doctor to note the angle between the cornea and the iris
Treatments for Glaucoma
The most common treatments for glaucoma will involve the use of medications to help reduce the pressure within the eye. Changes in lifestyle and the use of nutritional may also be considered to help slow vision loss. If these prove ineffective, surgical drainage and laser procedures may be considered.
Schedule a Consultation at Peña Eye Institute
For more information about glaucoma treatment and how we can help you, be sure to contact our advanced eye care center today. The Peña Eye Institute team looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent vision and optimal eye health.