What is Glaucoma?

GlaucomaEvery time you come in for a regular eye exam at Griffeth Vision we perform a glaucoma test. You know the one — we deliver a puff of air onto your eye to measure the eye’s resistance to the air. This tells Dr. Griffeth the intraocular pressure within your eye. If the pressure is higher than normal, you’re at risk for glaucoma.

But what actually is this eye disease?

Glaucoma explained

Glaucoma is a collective group of disorders that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting information from what you are seeing to the brain for interpretation. When this nerve is damaged, your vision is impaired and as it worsens it can lead to complete vision loss.

When a person has glaucoma, the intraocular pressure inside the eye is abnormally high. Pressure is needed inside the eye to keep the balance of fluids inside the eye, but glaucoma causes this pressure to increase, damaging the optic nerve. Fluid movement within the eye becomes irregular and builds up.

Glaucoma and blindness

As glaucoma progresses, the patient suffers increasing vision loss. If allowed to continue, this leads to total blindness. But this isn’t a given — early detection of glaucoma can greatly slow the advance of the disease.

Treating glaucoma

Generally, treating glaucoma involves three possible strategies. The preferred treatment is the use of medicated eye drops that are formulated to reduce intraocular pressure. If that treatment is unsuccessful, laser surgery or microsurgery may be necessary.

The best way to head off the effects of glaucoma is early detection. Schedule your next eye exam with Dr. Griffeth by calling 435-843-8333.

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