Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that affects around 3 million people in the United States, but almost 50% of those who have it aren’t aware that they do. Southern Eye Institute encourages people to schedule regular eye exams to catch the early signs of glaucoma. The board-certified ophthalmologists have years of experience in slowing down the condition and preventing further vision loss. Call their offices in Houma and Thibodaux, Louisiana, or schedule an appointment online today.
Glaucoma is the name of a group of eye disorders that damage the optic nerve. It’s the leading cause of blindness in the United States, and the chances of it developing increase with age.
There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is more common and causes gradual vision loss. Closed-angle glaucoma is more aggressive and causes faster and more severe optic nerve damage.
While there’s no cure for glaucoma, the earlier it’s caught, the less damage it can do. Southern Eye Institute recommends regular eye health exams to stop it in its tracks.
If the fluid pressure inside the inner eye becomes elevated, it can damage the optic nerve. This increased pressure occurs when the clear liquid inside the eye (aqueous humor) gets overproduced or doesn’t drain properly.
Scientists have found genetic traits among people that make them more prone to high eye pressure and, as a result, optic nerve damage. These genes explain why glaucoma tends to run in families.
In the early stages, glaucoma has almost no symptoms and many people have no idea they have it until the symptoms worsen. Symptoms vary depending on the type of glaucoma you have and how advanced it is.
Symptoms of glaucoma include:
Glaucoma eventually causes blindness if untreated.
Southern Eye Institute creates an individualized treatment plan based on how far your condition progressed and the type of glaucoma you have. Your treatment may include:
Laser trabeculoplasty can help treat open-angle glaucoma by reducing the pressure in the eye.
Procedures like a trabeculectomy or goniotomy involve creating a small opening in the white of the eye to access or remove part of the trabecular meshwork.
An implant, also called an aqueous shunt, drains away excess fluid to lower eye pressure.
Medications like prostaglandins and beta-blockers help lower eye pressure.
When you partner with an experienced provider like the eye doctors at Southern Eye Institute, you increase your chances of catching glaucoma in its earliest stages. To stay on top of your eye health, make an appointment today by phone or online booking.