Glaucoma is a progressive eye condition with many troubling factors associated with it. First of all, glaucoma destroys sight permanently.
When glaucoma damages your vision, there is no way to bring it back. Secondly, the symptoms progress very slowly and are undetectable without a professional examination.
Finally, there is currently no cure for glaucoma. Once it begins, you will have to deal with it for the rest of your life.
The situation isn’t all bad, however. While glaucoma isn’t reversible and there’s no cure, its progress can be effectively slowed or halted.
This is why regular eye appointments are so crucial. Come to our office in Glendale, AZ to receive a checkup that could potentially save the future of your vision. Keep reading to find out more about procedures that are best if you have glaucoma!
How Glaucoma Works
Glaucoma doesn’t damage the eye itself, but rather the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain. With glaucoma, the pressure inside the eyes slowly increases.
When the pressure gets too high, it starts to damage the optic nerve. Once the optic nerve undergoes any kind of damage, it becomes irreversible.
The rate at which it happens varies from patient to patient. Some peoples’ optic nerves are more durable than others.
Because the progress doesn’t stop, the pressure will overpower even the strongest optic nerve. Glaucoma starts because there is a drainage meshwork.
This drainage meshwork allows internal eye fluid to drain out of the eye that can become blocked. The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma happens when this meshwork is partially clogged or blocked off. A rarer version of the disease causes this meshwork to be completely pinched off.
This makes internal eye pressure increase dramatically in a short amount of time. This version of glaucoma is called narrow-angle glaucoma.
With narrow-angle glaucoma, patients experience much more intense symptoms that progress very quickly. Symptoms include sudden blurry vision, painful eyes, headaches, dilated pupils, and nausea.
While narrow-angle glaucoma is more obvious than standard glaucoma, the effects are the same. Any eyesight lost will be gone permanently, though it will go much faster.
You can also have glaucoma even with seemingly “normal” eye pressure, although it is also rare. Doctors are unsure of why exactly normal-tension glaucoma happens.
Glaucoma is mostly treated with the use of specially treated eye drops. A pill may also be taken with the drops.
Glaucoma medication is designed to lower internal eye pressure. This is done in a few different ways.
It could be by opening the meshwork of the eye by relaxing the structure, by slowing the production of internal eye fluid, or a combination of the two. Glaucoma drops need to be taken continuously to work. They are not effective if not taken consistently.
In particularly severe cases of glaucoma, surgery may be needed to quickly lower intraocular pressure. A trabeculoplasty can lower pressure by up to 30% and is successful in about 80% of patients.
It works by applying a laser to the drainage meshwork. This causes the tissue to undergo a chemical and biological change.
The change causes fluid to drain faster. Eye drops will still need to be used after surgery, or glaucoma will return.
Have more questions about what to do if you have glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona in Scottsdale, AZ now!
Having glaucoma can be scary but there are ways to make living with it easier!