Glaucoma is an often insidious silent eye disease that is caused by dangerously high eye pressure, also called intraocular pressure, resulting in permanent damage to the optic nerve. This occurs when fluid is trapped within the eye, causing the eye to push on the optic nerve at the back of the eye. Optic nerve damage due to glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss.
If not detected early, patients lose vision and don’t notice it until it’s too late. There are two basic types of glaucoma: acute angle-closure, which can develop suddenly and pose a medical emergency, and open-angle, which is the most common.
Some of the risk factors for glaucoma include the following:
- Over the age of 60
- Family history of glaucoma
- Asian or African heritage
- Suffered from physical trauma to the eye
- Underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes
The symptoms of glaucoma will vary depending on the stage and type. Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma (also known as closed angle glaucoma) as the eye pressure rises often include severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, halos or blurry vision, redness in the eye, or severe eye pain. If you experience these symptoms, you should visit an emergency room or seek emergency care at Boston Vision.
Early symptoms of primary open-angle glaucoma often include patchy blind spots in either the peripheral or center of your field of vision. This usually occurs in both eyes. Open-angle glaucoma patients may also experience tunnel vision in the advanced stages of the disease.
There are several glaucoma treatment options available depending on the specific type, stage, and symptoms. Your ophthalmologist or eye doctor may suggest prescription eye drops or medications that can be used to return the eyes to normal pressure. Surgeries, including laser surgeries, may also be recommended. These include:
- Laser trabeculoplasty, a laser therapy used to open clogged channels within the eye and relieve pressure
- Filtering surgery known as a trabeculectomy which creates an opening in the sclera, or white of the eye, to relieve pressure in your eye
- Drainage tubes
- Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)
If you have symptoms of glaucoma or fall into a higher risk category, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Our team can make an accurate diagnosis and determine the best possible treatment plan to preserve your vision and health. Call Boston Vision or contact us online to schedule your appointment. To schedule your appointment, book an appointment online or give us a call at 617-202-2020.
Our Glaucoma Services are available at all our locations: Brookline, Milford, Medford, Lawrence, Wellesley, Burlington, Woburn and Andover.