What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes vision loss in one or both eyes. Glaucoma is caused by fluid buildup behind the eye. This buildup puts pressure on your optic nerve and damages it. If damage to the optic nerve from high eye pressure continues, glaucoma will cause permanent loss of vision. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years.
Because most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from this increased pressure, it is important to see your eye doctor regularly so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before long-term visual loss occurs. In Phoenix, your doctor can provide a thorough vision exam and check your eye pressure to determine if you have glaucoma at any stage.
How to Care for Glaucoma
The goal of treatment is to reduce eye pressure and prevent damage to your optic nerve. Glaucoma care may include any of the following:
- Prescription eye drops can help decrease eye pressure by improving how fluid drains from your eye or by decreasing the amount of fluid your eye makes.
- An oral medication may be prescribed if eye drops alone don’t bring your eye pressure down to the desired level.
- Laser surgery may be needed if other treatments do not work. Your doctor uses a laser to open your eye drainage system or create a new opening for eye fluid to drain.
How to Prevent Additional Eye Damage
- Get regular eye exams. This will help your doctor monitor your glaucoma.
- Avoid behaviors that increase eye pressure. Do not wear tight clothing around your neck or chest. Do not push or lift anything heavier than 5 pounds. Avoid strenuous activity.
- Avoid people who are sick. Eye pressure increases when you sneeze or cough.
The damage caused by glaucoma can’t be reversed but treatment and regular checkups can help slow or prevent vision loss, especially if you catch the disease in its early stage. Contact Associated Retina Consultants to schedule a vision exam by calling 602-242-4928 or visiting associatedretinaconsultants.com.