With such a large number of possible eye diseases that people can contract, regular eye checkups are crucial for healthy vision. One disease that can lead to blindness in patients is known as glaucoma. A series of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, glaucoma causes a large amount of pressure in the eye that leads to significant loss of one’s vision.
The danger of glaucoma is that the patient cannot recover any vision the patient loses to the disease. In fact, the common form of glaucoma is so gradual that people will not notice a change in vision until they are in the advanced stages of glaucoma. Thus, regular eye exams and prevention techniques are crucial to saving one’s vision.
While eye exams are important for updating prescriptions and ensuring that there are no other health issues, they are also important for detecting early signs of glaucoma. With proper treatment, we can help to slow and even prevent vision loss in patients.
Symptoms to look for
With different types of glaucoma, there are various symptoms that can negatively impact one’s daily life. With one-angle glaucoma, patients may experience patchy blind spots in one’s vision and can even include tunnel vision on a regular basis. With acute angle-closure glaucoma, patients may experience:
- Eye pain and redness
- Severe headaches
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Halos around lights
While some of these symptoms can also be signs of other vision health issues, we recommend that patients do not take symptoms for granted. If a headache only lasts for a little while, then that is just a headache. If the patient is experiencing a severe headache with eye pain and blurred vision, then it is crucial to seek immediate treatment.
It is crucial to begin treatment as soon as possible. However, if glaucoma reaches advanced levels, then there is a chance that our treatment will not be as effective in preventing some amount of vision loss. With regular checkups, we can not only detect signs of glaucoma but can also begin treatment as early as possible.
Since people of all ages are susceptible to glaucoma, people need to be careful and seek treatment if the glaucoma symptoms begin to manifest. We have several treatment options that vary on the severity of the patient’s condition. We will avoid using the more intensive treatment options unless absolutely necessary.
The first and most common treatment option is to prescribe eye drops. Unlike over-the-counter eye drops, we will prescribe specific eye drops that can relieve pressure in the eyes by decreasing the amount of fluid the eye produces. Various forms of eye drops can include:
- Beta Blockers
- Alpha-adrenergic agonists
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
- Miotic or cholinergic agents
Most importantly, over-the-counter eye drops will not have the strength or necessary medicine to be effective. We may also recommend an oral medication that will help to lower pressure in the eyes. The side effects of the medication can vary per patient and we will go over all the details during a consultation.
There are also surgical treatment options and laser therapy for patients to consider. Laser therapy uses a concentrated beam of energy to open up the clogged channels in the trabecular meshwork. Benefits of this therapy include that there is no need to use metal tools. Other surgical options involve different methods for removing the white meshwork in the eyes.
Patients do not need to worry as we will find the most effective method for treatment while also taking the patient’s needs into account. We will work with the patient to answer any questions and address all concerns prior to beginning treatment. In most cases, there may be one or two follow-up exams to ensure that the treatment procedure is effective. We may also need to schedule follow-up procedures.
Give us a call at (407) 627-0579 to schedule an appointment and begin the path to a life with healthy vision today. We can help treat glaucoma and a variety of other eye diseases before one sustains permanent vision loss.
If you would like to learn more about glaucoma-treatment and the various treatments we provide, call (407) 627-0579 to schedule a consultation.