Glaucoma is an often insidious silent eye disease which is caused by dangerously high pressure within the eye, 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. Damage to the optic nerve due to glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss. If not detected early, patients lose vision and don’t notice it until it is 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.
You may be at a higher risk of developing glaucoma if you fall into the following categories:
- 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 often include severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, halos or blurry vision, redness in the eye, or eye pain. If you experience these symptoms, you should visit an emergency room or seek emergency care at Boston Vision.
Symptoms of 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 advanced stages of the disease.
There are several treatment options available for glaucoma depending on the specific type, stage, and symptoms. Your ophthalmologist or medical optometrist may suggest prescription eye drops or medications which can be used to reduce pressure in the eyes. 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
- 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.