Glaucoma Treatment for Bloomington and Champaign
Types of Glaucoma
This is the most common form of glaucoma in the United States. The risk of developing chronic open-angle glaucoma increases with age. The drainage angle of the eye becomes less efficient over time causing pressure within the eye to gradually increase. Increasing pressure in the eye can cause damage to the optic nerve. In some patients, the optic nerve becomes sensitive even to normal eye pressure and is at risk for damage. Treatment is necessary to prevent further vision loss.
Typically, chronic open-angle glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages and vision remains normal. As the optic nerve becomes more damaged, blank spots begin to appear in the field of vision. You typically won’t notice these blank spots in your day-to-day activities until the optic nerve is significantly damaged and these spots become large. If all the optic nerve fibers die, blindness results.
Some eyes are developed with the iris (the colored part of the eye) too close to the drainage angle. In these eyes, which are often small and farsighted, the iris can be sucked into the drainage angle and block it completely. Since the fluid cannot exit the eye, pressure inside the eye builds rapidly and causes an acute closed-angle attack.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
- blurred vision
- severe eye pain
- rainbow-colored halos around lights
- nausea and vomiting
An acute closed-angle attack is a true eye emergency. If you have any of these symptoms, call your ophthalmologist immediately. Unless this type of glaucoma is treated quickly, blindness can result. Unfortunately, two-thirds of those with closed-angle glaucoma develop it slowly without any symptoms prior to an attack.
As a rule, damage caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed. Eye drops, laser surgery and surgery in the operating room are used to help prevent further damage. In some cases, oral medications also may be prescribed. With any type of glaucoma, periodic examinations are very important to prevent vision loss. Because glaucoma can progress without your knowledge, adjustments to your treatment may be necessary from time to time.