4 Things You May Not Know About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of serious eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Both eyes are typically affected, but it may be worse in one eye.

Glaucoma often develops due to a consistent abnormal level of pressure inside the eye. In many cases, this pressure buildup happens gradually, damaging the optic nerve that sends visual information to the brain. 

This disrupts the flow of information from your eyes to your brain and slowly causes irreversible vision loss and even blindness. It’s vital to understand glaucoma and its effects in order to protect your vision.

Keep reading to learn four things you may not know about glaucoma!

1. Glaucoma Often Has No Symptoms

Symptoms are usually a way for you to know there’s something off in your body. However, the most common form of glaucoma has no tell-tale signs in the early stages. 

In fact, many people don’t have noticeable symptoms until their vision loss has dramatically progressed.

2. There are Different Types of Glaucoma

While there are many forms of glaucoma, the most common is open-angle glaucoma. The type of glaucoma that presents the most obvious symptoms is angle-closure glaucoma.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma accounts for the majority of glaucoma cases. In open-angle glaucoma, fluid inside your eye doesn’t drain properly, which increases the eye pressure and damages the optic nerve.

Unfortunately, open-angle happens so slowly that you might not realize any changes until you’ve permanently lost a significant amount of vision.

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

A tiny angle between your cornea and iris causes blockages in the drainage channel, leading to a rapid and dangerous increase in eye pressure. While rare, angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency that can result in almost immediate and irreparable vision loss. 

Symptoms include:

  • Severe and abrupt eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye redness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Intense headache
  • Halos around lights

If you show signs of acute angle-closure glaucoma, go to the emergency room right away as your vision is at risk.

3. Glaucoma Doesn’t Have a Cure

There’s still no cure for glaucoma, and any vision lost to the disease can’t be restored. However, it is possible to slow or prevent additional vision loss from glaucoma using medication, laser therapy, or surgery. 

The best treatment for you depends on which type of glaucoma. The goal of any treatment is to reduce internal eye pressure. 

It’s important to note that even with treatment, glaucoma is a progressive and chronic eye disease that an eye doctor will have to monitor for the rest of your life.

4. Routine Eye Exams Are Essential

Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of sight because it takes away your vision without warning. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced ophthalmologist check your eyes frequently. 

Your eye doctor can catch glaucoma early before you notice any symptoms. Timely detection is key to slowing glaucoma progression. 

The sooner glaucoma is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll receive treatment, helping you avoid further vision loss.

Get Your Eyes Checked

Can you remember the last time you went for your eye exams? If you can’t, the ophthalmologists at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona recommend getting your eyes tested as soon as possible to protect your sight. 

The trusted eye doctors can recognize the early signs of glaucoma and provide best-in-class treatment to prevent additional vision loss.

Is it time to have your annual eye exam and make sure your eyes are healthy? Schedule an appointment at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona in Glendale, AZ, today!

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