The doctors at Ford Eye Center in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, are dedicated to providing the most advanced and attentive care to patients suffering from this debilitating disease. Their primary goal is always to stop vision loss and preserve vision and quality of life for their valued patients.
Glaucoma refers to a group of disease caused by increased intraocular pressure. This means that the fluid pressure inside the eyes increases. Unfortunately, untreated glaucoma can result in vision loss and complete blindness.
To maintain proper eye pressure, fluid must be able to flow into and out of the eye through the anterior chamber. When fluid flows into the eye but doesn’t flow out of the eye at the right rate, it can build up within the eye and increase intraocular pressure. This pressure can result in damage to the optic nerve, which impacts vision.
In many cases, the cause of glaucoma is unknown. In some cases, the disease results from an obstructed passage, which prevents liquid from flowing freely out of the eye. In other cases, increased pressure can be the result of an infection, injury, or tumor.
African Americans aged 40 and older, Mexican Americans, anybody age 60 and over, and people whose parents or grandparents have glaucoma are at increased risk of developing the disease.
Glaucoma is identified during a routine eye examination or an office visit for a symptomatic patient. The eye doctor measures the patient’s intraocular pressure using tonometry, which is quick and painless. Regular eye exams are crucial for early diagnosis and treatment.
There are 2 kinds of glaucoma: open-angle and acute-angle. In open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type, there are often no signs or symptoms of the disease until some vision loss has occurred. In that case, peripheral vision is lost first. In closed-angle glaucoma, pressure builds very quickly, and symptoms like blurriness, halos, redness, and pain are likely to occur.
There are some FDA-approved treatments available for glaucoma. These treatments work by lowering intraocular pressure (IOP), so following the prescribed treatment regimen is critical to protecting vision. The most commonly used treatments include eye drops, oral medications, and surgery.
Unfortunately, patients who have lost vision due to glaucoma will never get their vision back. Routine eye examinations are critical in protecting and preserving vision in asymptomatic patients.