Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that is a leading cause of sight loss in people over 60. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, the professionals at Chapel Hills Vision Clinic can create a treatment plan to slow the progression of the disease. We can help you spot the early signs of glaucoma before it becomes a serious issue.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a variety of conditions that are related to damages of the optic nerve. If left untreated, glaucoma can result in eye pain, nausea, and even permanent vision loss. The early signs of this disease often go unnoticed without proper testing. The two common types of glaucoma are open-angle and acute angle-closure glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the fluid in your eyes drain slowly due to issues with the eye's drainage system. When the fluid cannot drain properly, it causes an increase in eye pressure, resulting in permanent damage to the optic nerve. Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the fluid in your eyes cannot drain at all. This causes a rapid spike in eye pressure causing permanent damage to the optic nerve.
Early Signs of Glaucoma That You Should Look Out for
Open-angle glaucoma affects you gradually. It causes no pain or vision changes during its initial stages. These characteristics make it difficult to know whether you are affected. The only sure way of finding out is with regular eye exams. Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the fluid in your eyes drain slowly due to issues with the eye's drainage system. When the fluid cannot drain properly, it causes an increase in eye pressure, resulting in permanent damage to the optic nerve.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma, also known as narrow-angle or closed-angle glaucoma, occurs after the iris blocks your eye’s drainage angle. This blockage makes the eye pressure increase rapidly. This type of Glaucoma usually affects older people, especially those with untreated cataracts. This causes a rapid spike in eye pressure causing permanent damage to the optic nerve. If not treated properly, narrow-angle glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss. Common signs of acute angle-closure glaucoma are:
- Sudden blurred vision
- Severe eye pain – usually intense, excruciating pain and is associated with eye reddening
- Vomiting and nausea
- Headache on the forehead or around the eyes
- Seeing Halos surrounding lights – for example, rainbow-colored rings encircling the lights
Glaucoma Management and Treatment
Early detection can help decrease the risk of glaucoma and the ensuing related vision loss. In the early stages, topical drops are very effective in treating glaucoma. During the later stages, more invasive treatments may be necessary. These include:
- Laser trabeculoplasty involves using a small beam to open the eye's drainage system, allowing the fluid to drain.
- Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure where your doctor will make a small incision in the white of your eye to remove part of the eye's drainage system.
- Drainage tubes can be inserted to help the fluid drain properly.
Contact Us to Properly Treat Your Glaucoma in Colorado Springs
Because glaucoma shows no early symptoms, it is essential that you schedule an annual eye exam with our team at Chapel Hills Vision Clinic in Colorado Springs. We can create a treatment plan to help slow the progression of the disease to help preserve your vision. Contact us today to see how we can help treat your glaucoma.