Get to Know Glaucoma Before You Have To

When people think about their eye health, what typically gets their focus is their general vision. The common school of thought often goes something like “I see well, so there’s nothing wrong.” In the case of glaucoma, that idea couldn’t be farther from the truth. That’s why we want to discuss this potentially serious eye disease here. Knowing the basics about glaucoma can help you avoid learning about this condition the hard way. 

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is one of the common eye diseases to affect adults of all ages. It is characterized by a concerning increase in intraocular pressure. Not only is the increase concerning, but so is the fact that intraocular pressure can rise without any indication whatsoever. One of the ways that a person may learn they have glaucoma is by losing some or all of their eyesight. Knowledge can prevent this from happening. 

The way that glaucoma occurs may differ. There are two common types, primary open-angle and closed-angle.  Both can cause irreparable damage to the optic nerve. If vision loss occurs due to glaucoma, it cannot be restored. How does this damage occur? It comes down to fluid. The eye relies on fluid and some degree of intraocular pressure to maintain its structural integrity. However, sometimes fluid does not drain from the eye as quickly as new fluid enters. 

With open-angle glaucoma, this buildup can occur over years. This can be beneficial because, if detected during a comprehensive eye exam, the elevated intraocular pressure can be treated. Usually, it is lowered with prescription medication. Closed-angle glaucoma is more concerning because it may involve an acute attack of rapidly-increasing intraocular pressure. In an acute attack, symptoms such as blurry vision, severe eye pain, headache, and nausea and vomiting may also occur. Prompt medical attention is critical to a good treatment outcome. In some cases, surgery must be performed to quickly reduce the pressure on the optic nerve. 

Your ophthalmologist is your best resource for learning about your personal risk for glaucoma. Getting familiar with this eye disease, your risks, and steps to manage them is currently the best approach we know to recommend. 

We are pleased to offer friendly, professional care from offices in North Canton, Alliance, and Canfield. Contact us today to schedule a visit at an office near you.

Posted in: Glaucoma

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