Tooele, UT glaucoma testing and treatment
What is glaucoma?
The expert eye doctors at the Griffeth vision facility in Salt Lake City describe glaucoma as a collective group of disorders that could influence the damage of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting information between the brain and the eye, and when this is damaged, it will lead to vision impairment or a complete loss of vision. In glaucoma, the intraocular pressure is abnormally high. This pressure is what keeps the balance of fluids on the inside of the eye. If this balance is disrupted because of the abnormal movement of fluids, or if the patient has an underlying medical condition that affects the pressure, this would cause the intraocular pressure to rise and result in glaucoma. Glaucoma remains to be one of the leading causes for blindness around the world, but early detection can generally reduce the risk of blindness. The reason why most patients suffer vision loss with glaucoma is because the early symptoms are not caught. Most of the time, the symptoms develop very slowly so that the patient is not aware that the disease is already in progress. It is important for patients to have regular eye examinations so that the eyes could be checked for normal intraocular pressure.
How do I get glaucoma?
Abnormally high intraocular pressure is the most prevalent cause of glaucoma. The fluid inside the eyes is known as the aqueous humor. In normal cases, this substance flows in and out of the eyes to maintain balance. For patients with glaucoma, the aqueous humor moves in an irregular pattern due to the inability of the eye’s natural drainage system—the trabecular meshwork—to circulate it properly, causing it to potentially build up inside the eye. This impaired mechanism raises intraocular pressure and eventually gives rise to glaucoma.
When do I know I have glaucoma?
Glaucoma is usually associated to deteriorating vision. However, there are two main types of this disease and symptoms may very depending on what the patient has.
- Some patients have reported gradually losing their peripheral vision in one or both eyes. This symptom of glaucoma is usually associated to primary open-angle glaucoma, which is also the form of the disease that can cause tunnel vision when left untreated.
- Another type of glaucoma is acute angle closure coma and is often associated with discomfort or pain in the eyes that may also trigger bouts of nausea and vomiting. Patients who may have this type of glaucoma will also be alerted to the condition because of a significant increase in light sensitivity, while also experiencing a sudden decline inability to see under lowlight. The ice will also appear to be irritated in this case.
Am I at risk of getting glaucoma?
- Age is one of the determining factors of glaucoma. It is most common for glaucoma to occur in patients that are over the age of 40, but younger patients, children even infants, are also prone to developing this disease.
- According to studies, there is an increased risk of developing glaucoma for patients that belong to Japanese, Hispanic, Russian, Irish, Scandinavian, or African-American lineage.
- Patients with a family history of glaucoma are at higher risk of developing it.
- Having underlying medical conditions that could aggravate the symptoms of glaucoma, such as diabetes, are also at risk
- Medications that are being taken by patients for certain conditions may influence intraocular pressure and lead to glaucoma.
What are my treatment options with glaucoma?
- The preferred first line of treatment for glaucoma is the use of medicated eye drops that are formulated to reduce intraocular pressure. These of these medications may cause blurred vision, irritated eyes, redness, or stinging and must be reported to the doctor should they occur.
- Laser surgery is performed on patients for to improve the flow of the aqueous humor. The type of laser procedure that is used will depend on the patient’s requirement. Trabeculoplasty opens up the trabecular meshwork, while cyclophotocoagulation treats the inner layers of the eye to help reduce fluid production. An iridotomy, on the other hand, creates a hole in the patient’s iris to increase fluid movement.
- Microsurgery involves the creation additional channels within the trabecular meshwork to help improve fluid drainage and reduce intraocular pressure.