Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve in the eye. Typically glaucoma comes with an elevated pressure inside the eye but it may occur with any level of eye pressure. If the pressure in your eye is high enough to damage the optic nerve you may lose vision if it is not detected and treated. Unfortunately, vision loss from glaucoma is permanent but it can be avoided.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Early in the disease there are often no symptoms of glaucoma. Glaucoma is called a silent disease because of this. Without treatment however, glaucoma can cause vision loss and even blindness. The early vision changes from glaucoma are typically in the peripheral vision but they can also occur in the central vision. This vision loss, especially if it is peripheral, may not be noticed in your daily life. Once the vision loss becomes more severe it can have devastating effects on your vision and your life. If glaucoma is not treated, it will eventually lead to complete blindness that is irreversible.
It is usually impossible to “feel” the pressure in your eye, even when it is elevated. A pressure feeling in the eyes is more commonly associated with sinus pressure or other problems. If the pressure in the eye becomes high enough over a short period of time however, you may feel severe pain and nausea. This is a specific type of glaucoma called angle-closure glaucoma. This is a medical emergency and needs prompt treatment.
Who is at risk of glaucoma?
Glaucoma is relatively uncommon for people younger than 40, however almost 25% of people in their 80’s have glaucoma. The older you are, the more risk you have. Also, if glaucoma is in your family you are at a higher risk of developing the disease. Other risk factors include and elevated pressure inside the eye, the presence of diabetes, and being of African or Asian decent.
How is glaucoma treated?
Unfortunately there is no cure for glaucoma. We do, however, have some very good ways to help you manage it. Our goal for you if you have glaucoma is that you never notice that there is a vision problem if possible. We always treat glaucoma by lowering the pressure of the eyes. This can be accomplished by either using eye drops every day or sometimes with a laser procedure designed to lower the pressure. With proper diagnosis and management of the pressure, most people can stop the process of losing vision.
If you have glaucoma or are concerned that you may be at risk for glaucoma please call and make an appointment with our office today!
6699 Chimney Rock Rd
Houston, TX 77081
1331 W Grand Pkwy N
Katy, TX 77493
CLEAR LAKE /PEARLAND
Houston, TX 77089
Houston, TX 77065