I was diagnosed with Glaucoma, “the Sneak Thief of Vision”…Now what?

Glaucoma is a condition that takes place in the eyes. When the pressure inside the eye rises to a high level, the pressure starts to damage the eye’s optic nerve which is located in the back of the eye. This damage tends to get worse over time and is likely to be inherited, hence the importance of catching this condition at its early stages.

The intraocular pressure in the eye is caused by high fluid pressure which is not draining properly. This pressure will eventually cause harm to the optic nerve. When the optical nerve gets severely damaged, a person can lose your sight. There are no early signs of glaucoma; this is one of the main reasons why it is so important to have annual eye exams.

There are two kinds of Glaucoma:

  1. Open Angle Glaucoma: this condition is when the structure of the eye looks normal but the fluid is not draining properly. This is the most common kind of glaucoma.
  2. Angle Closure Glaucoma: This condition is rarer. It is when the fluid does not drain through the angle between the iris and the cornea because it is too narrow.

What are the Symptoms?

There are no early signs of glaucoma. However, if a person starts seeing halos around lights, vision loss, redness in the eye, and /or feeling nausea and eye pain please seek medical care immediately.

What can be done?

The doctors at Katzen Eye Care & Laser Center have the choice of using eye drops, laser surgery or microsurgery to alleviate and manage the condition depending on the gravity and kind of glaucoma a patient has. Eye drops reduce the amount of fluid in your eye. Laser surgery can facilitate the flow of the fluid by making the draining system work properly. Microsurgery or trabelectomy is when a new channel is created to drain the fluid inside the eye.

Anybody can have glaucoma. However, you are at a greater risk when a person falls under the following categories:

  • African-American, Irish, Hispanic, or Russian
  • Are over 40 years of age
  • Have diabetes
  • Use steroid medications such as Prednisone
  • Had trauma to the eyes

The importance of having the eyes examined by an eye doctor cannot be overemphasized. There is no way to prevent glaucoma; but it can be managed in order to prevent damage to the eyes and vision loss. If you get diagnosed with glaucoma, follow your eye doctor’s recommendations in order to preserve your gift of sight.