Roughly three million people in the United States have some form of glaucoma, the second most common cause of blindness in the world. This damage to your optic nerve can threaten your vision; however, with early detection, you can get treatment to prevent this vision loss at Irvine Eye Center. From board-certified ophthalmologist Andrew Lee, MD, in Irvine, California, the practice prioritizes your eye health and can guide you through cutting-edge glaucoma treatment. Call Irvine Eye Center or schedule an appointment online for your next eye exam today.
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can result in vision loss or blindness. Glaucoma is increasingly present in aging populations, but with early detection, the team at Irvine Eye Center can help you maintain the vision you still have despite the diagnosis.
There are many different types of glaucoma, which all ultimately damage your optic nerve. The optic nerve sits in the back of your eye and feeds visual input into your brain. This input allows you to process what you see. When that nerve is damaged by glaucoma, your brain can no longer accurately process your vision.
At Irvine Eye Center, your ophthalmologist can detect glaucoma during a routine eye exam, even if you have minimal or no symptoms. As a major risk factor of glaucoma is high pressure inside the eyeball, your provider regularly measures the pressure inside your eye, called intraocular pressure (IOP). They also examine your optic nerve for signs of damage. This is just one of the reasons why regular eye exams are necessary as you age.
The symptoms of glaucoma vary based on the specific type of glaucoma you have. The most common forms are:
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma and occurs when your eye’s drainage system is not working correctly. This faulty drainage increases the pressure inside your eye as fluid builds up but cannot drain at the same rate. As a result, you develop patchy blind spots in your peripheral vision over time, which can eventually impact your central vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma causes drainage issues within your eye because of a bulging iris. This type can worsen gradually over time or show up suddenly. Common symptoms include headaches, eye pain, and blurry vision.
Unlike other types of glaucoma, the cause of your optic nerve damage isn’t as clear in normal-tension glaucoma. Normal-tension glaucoma, or NTG, often comes from limited blood flow to your eye. Common symptoms include gradually blurry vision with an eventual loss of peripheral vision.
Early detection of glaucoma is key to successful treatment. Irvine Eye Center has advanced diagnostic equipment that can identify early signs of glaucoma long before you do. After your diagnosis, your ophthalmologist walks you through various avenues of treatment, which may include:
In many cases, acute angle-closure glaucoma is a sudden medical emergency. Typical treatments for other types of glaucoma will not be effective. Instead, you may need an emergency procedure, such as laser peripheral iridotomy, to relieve the increased eye pressure.
For more information on treatments for all types of glaucoma, call Irvine Eye Center or schedule an appointment online today.