Over three million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of them know they have it.
There are very few symptoms when the disease is in its earliest and most treatable stages. That’s why regular screening is so critical.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness if left untreated. Though there is no cure yet for glaucoma, early detection and medication/surgery can halt further vision loss. Advanced technology makes it possible to diagnose glaucoma earlier than ever before.
There are two types of glaucoma:
Type 1: Open-angle Glaucoma
Open-angle glaucoma is caused by a gradual blockage in the area that drains fluid from the eyes into the drainage channels. It is the most common type of glaucoma and usually affects both eyes.
Type 2: Closed-angle Glaucoma
Closed-angle glaucoma is a blockage caused by a change in the position of the iris (the colored part of the eye). The change in position causes the iris to block the drainage channels. This type of glaucoma usually happens in one eye at a time. When this type of glaucoma happens suddenly, it is called acute closed-angle glaucoma and is a medical emergency.
If not managed effectively, glaucoma narrows the field of vision through which you see the world. Here’s what happens:
- Fluid builds up in the eyes. It doesn’t drain properly.
- Internal pressure increases. You can’t feel it, but this pressure is damaging the optic nerve.
- Eventually, the optic nerve is not able to transmit visual signals from the eye to the brain.
- Damage to the optic nerve causes vision loss. Initially, peripheral vision is affected.
- If eye pressure is not reduced and managed, blindness can occur.
You may be at a higher risk for developing glaucoma if you:
- Are African-American or Latino-American
- Are age 60 and up
- Have a family history of the disease.
- Have a history of elevated eye pressure
At SEE, we offer the most up-to glaucoma treatments.
Unfortunately, medical researchers have not yet developed a way to repair or replace the optic nerve, but they’re working on it. The good news, however, is that medicines and surgery can successfully lower eye pressure and help patients preserve their vision. At SEE, we offer the most up-to-date glaucoma treatments.