Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause serious loss of vision, and even blindness, if it is not treated before it reaches that stage. Once the loss of vision caused by the disease occurs, it is permanent. Therefore, it is important to detect and treat it early. Its progression can usually be stopped with medications or surgery, but there is no reversal for damage to the eyesight that has already occurred.
Glaucoma is caused by the buildup of pressure from fluids in the eye. If the condition is allowed to go on for a period of time, it can damage the optic nerve. This is the nerve that transmits the signals from the eye to the brain.
In its early stages, glaucoma may produce no symptoms. As it progresses, there may be a reduction in the field of vision, which will worsen over time. The way to detect glaucoma is through routine eye exams. During these checkups, the pressure in the eye is measured. This number tells the medical professional if there is a reason for concern. If so, early treatment is vital.
Although laser or microsurgery is often performed for glaucoma patients, there are non-surgical treatments available as well. These treatments frequently involve the use of prescription eye drops. These drops typically serve one of two purposes. They can stop or slow the buildup of fluid in the eye, or they can help the fluid in the eye to drain so that it does not lead to the buildup of pressure. These eye drops are typically what is used first in order to treat glaucoma.
A variety of types of drops are available. Each attacks the problem in its own way. Certain medications can be used to decrease the amount of pressure in the eye by increasing the level at which fluids flow from the eye. Other medications can help prevent the fluid from building up in the eye. As a result, the pressure is lowered.
If you have glaucoma and are not ready for surgical treatment, you should ask our team at Live Oak Ophthalmology about the use of non-surgical medications, including pressure-lowering topical eye drops. There is likely a type of eye drop from which you can benefit. The one that is right for you will depend on your own condition. Our doctor will be able to make that determination during a consultation at our office in Wilmington. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more.