Glaucoma FAQs Answered by Our Buena Park Optometry Team
At Buena Park Eyecare, our optometry staff has the right mix of technology and techniques to diagnose and manage glaucoma, which afflicts an estimated 3 million Americans. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about this debilitating disease.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that are characterized by damage to the optic nerve. It is most often accompanied by increased intra-ocular pressure, but can present in people with normal levels of eye pressure.
What Causes Glaucoma?
By far the most common cause of glaucoma is increased eye pressure. This increase in pressure is a result of either the eye’s inability to drain properly, the overproduction of liquid that supports the vitreous humor (the inside of the eye), or some other form of leakage of blood or fluid from the blood vessels inside the eye. When the pressure inside the eye is increased, the fibers of the optic nerve are permanently damaged.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Glaucoma has several risk factors. They are:
- High blood pressure
- Hispanic or African decent
- Being older than 40
- Previous eye injuries
- Family history of the disease
What Is Open-Angle Glaucoma?
By far the most common form of the disease, open-angle glaucoma progresses so slowly, most people don’t even realize they have it until permanent vision loss has occurred. It is important to be screened for open-angle glaucoma during your annual eye exam.
What Is Angle-Closure Glaucoma?
This form of glaucoma has a sudden onset. In angle-closure glaucoma, when drainage for the eye is stymied completely, a traumatic level of pressure builds within the eye and causes symptoms like eye pain, headaches, nausea, and sudden vision loss.
How Is Glaucoma Detected?
A technique known as tonometry is used to check eye pressure. An elevated eye pressure may indicate glaucoma. Optic nerves are also examined directly during a dilated eye exam.
Are there Treatments for Glaucoma?
Though there is currently no cure for the disease, many treatments exist to manage the symptoms of glaucoma and prevent its progression. Oral medications and prescription eye drops may be employed during the early stages of glaucoma, and may be sufficient. During the later stages of glaucoma, surgery may be required to save your optic nerves from further degeneration.
Are You Due for a Glaucoma Screening?
If you've been thinking about getting a glaucoma screening and live near Buena Park, CA, we encourage you to call Buena Park Eyecare now at (714) 521-7582 and schedule an appointment with our optometrist, Dr. James Cohen. Don't put off your eye health needs. Your vision depends on it!