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What you need to know about Glaucoma

Glaucoma can change the way you see your future.

Here’s what you need to know about this sight-threatening disease.

What is Glaucoma?

The optic nerve is the pathway that carries the images we see to the brain. Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve, often without symptoms or early warning signs. With proper medical care, glaucoma may be treated and controlled. If left untreated, however, glaucoma can destroy the optic nerve, leading to vision loss.

Are You at Risk?

Doctors used to think that high intraocular pressure(IOP) caused glaucoma. Now, they know that other factors are involved be3cause even people with normal IOP can have vision loss from glaucoma.

Some of the other risk factors that may increase your risk of glaucoma include:

  • Increasing age
  • African heritage
  • Family history
  • Injury or trauma to the eye
  • Diabetes
  • Nearsightedness
  • Long-term steroid treatment
  • High blood pressure

Detecting Glaucoma

An eye examination, including specialized testing provided by Corinth Eye Clinic, is the only way your doctor can diagnose glaucoma because most people with glaucoma show no noticeable symptoms. During your exam, your doctor may these and other tests:

  • Tonometer: To measure the inner pressure of your eye, also called your IOP
  • Visual Field Analyzer: To check your peripheral vision.
  • Heidelberg Retina Tomograph II (HRT II): To measure the size, depth and shape of your optic nerve. This test is especially useful for detecting small changes over time. It could help your doctor diagnose glaucoma years before symptoms become apparent.

Treating Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a chronic disease that must be treated for life. Although not curable, glaucoma is manageable, and most people with glaucoma do not go blind. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your doctor will determine the best treatment for you. Typically, this involves the use of drops to control the pressure in your eye. Occasionally, your doctor may recommend either laser treatment or surgery.

Keep the Future in Sight

Remember, the best way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma is to take your drops as your doctor prescribes and have eye examinations at appropriate intervals.