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Glaucoma

GlaucomaGlaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that may lead to impaired vision or even blindness. There are many factors that contribute to glaucoma, including age, myopia, race, intraocular pressure, family history, corneal thickness, and a host of additional issues. At present, all our treatment strategies are based upon lowering intraocular pressure.

Types of Glaucoma

Primary open angle glaucoma, or POAG, is the most common form of glaucoma in the United States, and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness amongst African Americans. Because the disease generally develops very gradually and without symptoms, many patients do not notice it until significant loss of vision has occurred.

Even if you have not had any changes in vision or eye health, it is important to have regular eye exams. POAG can be controlled with little or no vision loss if it is caught in the early stages. However, once vision is lost from glaucoma, that vision may not be recovered.

While it is important for people of all ages to have regular eye exams, it is especially important if you:

  • are over 40 years of age

  • are of African-American heritage

  • have a family history of glaucoma

  • are very nearsighted

  • have diabetes or hypertension

 

Angle Closure Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma is caused when the fluid within the eye is unable to reach the traditional drainage system due to the positioning of the iris and/or lens. In the United States, it is far less common than POAG, and is often accompanied by symptoms, including;

  • unexplained headaches

  • blurred vision

  • halos of color around lights

  • loss of peripheral vision

  • pain or redness in the eyes

  • nausea or vomiting

If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, immediate treatment may be required to prevent damage to the eyes. While these are the most common forms of glaucoma, there are many forms of glaucoma, including Normal Tension glaucoma, Pigmentary glaucoma, Neovascular glaucoma, and Pseudoexfoliative glaucoma to name a few.