Glaucoma is an eye disease where fluid builds up in your eye and puts pressure on your optic nerve. Over time, that pressure can cause damage to your optic nerve, leading to serious and permanent damage as well as blindness. There are two types of glaucoma:
Open-angle glaucoma is symptomless in its early stages, so it is important to have regular eye exams that include glaucoma screening, especially if you have a family history of the disease. Closed-angle glaucoma attacks lead to blurred vision, acute eye pain, headaches, nausea, or the appearance of auras or halos around lights. If you experience these symptoms, contact Dr. Clark immediately.
Glaucoma is diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. Dr. Clark will measure your eye pressure with the air-puff test. He will also check your eye’s drainage angle, test your peripheral vision, and examine and measure your optic nerve to check for damage. Since glaucoma typically doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages, you should have regular eye exams where Dr. Clark can test your eyes for the condition. If caught early, glaucoma can often be treated and managed to preserve your vision.
In most cases, glaucoma is controlled with medicated eye drops that reduce the pressure in your eye. The eye drops reduce the amount of fluid produced in your eye or improve the drainage flow. If necessary, Dr. Clark will recommend laser surgery to treat glaucoma. Patients with open-angle glaucoma may benefit from trabeculoplasty, where the drainage angle is treated to improve the flow of liquid and reduce eye pressure. Iridotomy is used to treat closed-angle glaucoma by creating a tiny hole in the iris to improve drainage.
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