What is Glaucoma? Answers from Your Optometrist in Greenville
Glaucoma is one of the eye diseases your optometrist in Greenville tests for and treats. It is the general name for a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss if not treated. The most common type is called open-angle glaucoma, though there are other, lesser diagnosed types such as closed-angle glaucoma and normal tension glaucoma. You are more likely to be diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma than the other types.
With the most common type of glaucoma, you probably won't notice any symptoms at first, or even for a long time, until your vision is already starting to be damaged. That is why it is so important to come in to your Greenville optometrist for regular, usually annual, glaucoma exams. If we catch it early, successful treatment of it (including saving or preserving your vision) is much more likely.
Glaucoma is an increase in the pressure of vitreous fluid inside the eye. If this fluid cannot drain properly, it builds up over a period of time, until it eventually causes pain in your eyes, and the pressure on the optic nerve can start to damage vision. Fortunately, most optometrists include a glaucoma test in a patient's annual exam, and can treat it with medicated drops to reduce the pressure if the condition is caught early.
What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma, and How is it Treated?
When glaucoma has been undiagnosed and untreated for a while, it does eventually begin to produce symptoms. The most common of these is eye pain. You may also experience blurred vision, a mild to moderately dilated pupil in the affected eye, nausea, and redness on the whites of the eyes. If you let glaucoma go so long without treatment that it damages your vision, this damage is irreversible. However, if you have any vision left, it can be preserved with medical (and often surgical) intervention.
The easiest way of treating glaucoma is to catch it early, when medicated eye drops are usually enough to reduce the pressure. If you have moderate to severe glaucoma that has not been diagnosed until it has progressed enough to present some symptoms, you may need laser surgery to create openings for fluid to drain. Traditional surgery can also be performed to create these holes, and to install shunts in the eye to let fluid build up naturally to a point, and then drain as it is supposed to. If you need surgery to treat glaucoma, we will refer you to a specialist we trust, and we will provide all of your pre and post-op care.
What to Do Next: Schedule Your Greenville Optometrist
Contact us to set up an appointment with your Greenville optometrist to get your initial exam, evaluation, and consultation. We are looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the Carolina Vision Care family. With us, you can always trust your vision is in good hands. You can contact us at:
Carolina Vision Care
1804 W Arlington Blvd
Greenville, NC 27834