Glaucoma can lead to blindness if left untreated, but if it's caught early you can prevent damage to your optic nerve and protect your vision. At Your Two Eyes Optometry in Berkeley, California, the team of optometrists is experienced in detecting glaucoma and providing effective treatment. To schedule a glaucoma exam or learn more about treatment options, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Glaucoma is a disease that causes progressive damage to your optic nerves. Your optic nerves are the connection between your eyes and brain. As your retina detects light, your optic nerves carry information to the vision centers in your brain, which interprets the information and generates images.
Glaucoma can result from a buildup of aqueous humor in your eye, among other causes that increase in the fluid pressure of the eye leads to damage of your optic nerve and ultimately loss of vision to one and eventually both eyes.
In its early stages, glaucoma doesn’t cause any symptoms. Glaucoma has already caused permanent vision damage by the time it has a noticeable effect on your vision. That’s why the disease is known as the “silent thief of sight.”
The first stage of vision loss from glaucoma is a deterioration in your peripheral (side) vision. When the disease is left untreated, the disease can eventually cause full blindness in one or both eyes.
The best approach to treating glaucoma is prevention. Regular eye exams, including a glaucoma screening, are the surest way to detect the disease early.
You should be screened for glaucoma every two years beginning at age 65. You may want to start younger, as early as age 40, if you have additional risk factors. These risk factors include a family history of the disease, previous eye injury or surgery, diabetes, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure (hypertension). Some forms of glaucoma can hit even in early adulthood (teens, 20s, and 30s).
Glaucoma causes irreversible vision loss, but with treatment, you can reduce the pressure in your eye and prevent further damage to your vision. Treatment is most effective when glaucoma is detected early because, at that point, you have more vision to preserve.
Your optometrist may prescribe eye drops that decrease fluid production in your eye or help fluid to drain. If eye drops don’t lower the pressure in your eye, your optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist for surgery. Surgery options for glaucoma include laser surgery and microsurgery, which are designed to improve your eye’s drainage channel.
Though glaucoma isn’t curable, it can be controlled, especially with early detection. To learn more about treatment options or schedule a glaucoma screening, call Your Two Eyes Optometry or use the online booking feature.