Glaucoma is a dangerous medical condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated. The disease ruins vision by placing the eye under a lot of pressure. This eye pressure eventually damages the ocular nerve. Once the ocular nerve is damaged, your brain will no longer be able to transmit images. If your glaucoma is allowed to damage the ocular nerve for an extended period of time, it may result in permanent blindness. Fortunately, you can keep the disease under control and alleviate any symptoms by getting the proper glaucoma treatment.
Glaucoma is caused by a fluid blockage in the eye. The front part of the eye is filled with a liquid called aqueous humor. This liquid is constantly created by the body to keep the eye lubricated. The liquid is supposed to exit the eye through a small channel, but this channel becomes blocked when suffering from glaucoma. This blockage causes the eye fluid to build up over time, which places a lot of pressure on the ocular nerve.
The biggest problem with glaucoma is that it can be present for years without causing any symptoms. The hidden nature of glaucoma is one of the biggest reasons to get regular eye exams after turning 40. These exams are even more important if your family has a history of glaucoma.
If your glaucoma is not caught early, then it will eventually start to cause some harmful symptoms. The most common signs of glaucoma are loss of your peripheral vision, eye redness, eye pain, tunnel vision and nausea. You may also start to see spots when around bright lights. Since the condition will only get worse over time, the only way to alleviate these symptoms is by seeking glaucoma treatment.
Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops if it is diagnosed early. These eye drops are designed to reduce the amount of fluid in the front of your eye. While eye drops are usually effective at slowing down the disease, some patients require more advanced forms of glaucoma treatment. If your symptoms can’t be improved using eye drops, then you will have to undergo surgery.
Laser surgery can be performed to create a small drainage hole in the eye. The creation of this hole will allow the aqueous humor fluid to properly leave the eye when necessary. This will eliminate the pressure placed on the ocular nerve, so your glaucoma symptoms should quickly go away. You can also undergo a quick and easy procedure known as selective laser trabeculoplasty. A small tube might also be implanted in the eye during this procedure to prevent a potential fluid blockage.
Since any vision already lost from glaucoma is not curable, it is vitally important to receive glaucoma treatment as early as possible to prevent any additional vision loss in the future. At Live Oak Ophthalmology in Wilmington, Dr. Hester and Dr. Groat offer many different forms of glaucoma treatment, and we will help you explore your options during your initial consultation. Contact us today to find out which treatment will work best for you.