Up to three million Americans have glaucoma, one of the most common causes of vision loss. At Diablo Eye Associates in Walnut Creek, California, the ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists have years of experience diagnosing and treating glaucoma. They also research glaucoma and regularly conduct clinical studies to advance the treatment of the disease. Call the office to request a glaucoma consultation today, or book online.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye problems characterized by optic nerve damage. Your optic nerve plays a vital role in vision. It sends signals from your retina to your brain, and your brain then interprets those signals into images.
There are several types of glaucoma, including:
This type of glaucoma occurs when microscopic deposits build up in your eyes’ drainage canals. Over time, the deposits cause pressure to build, damaging your optic nerve.
This type of glaucoma occurs when the area between the colored part of your eye (iris) and the outer layer of your eye (cornea) is too narrow. The structural abnormality clogs your eyes’ drainage canals, causing pressure to build up and damage your optic nerve.
Normal-tension glaucoma is unique in that it occurs without high eye pressure. This type of glaucoma is most common in people of Asian or Asian-America descent.
Some babies are born with partially formed drainage canals. Your child’s pediatrician might diagnose this type of glaucoma shortly after birth.
Glaucoma doesn’t always present symptoms early on, but there are telltale signs to watch out for, including:
As the condition gets worse, you might also experience nausea or vomiting.
To diagnose glaucoma, your Diablo Eye Associates provider completes a routine eye exam. During the exam, they assess your optic health and check for vision loss.
Your provider orders several tests, including a dilated eye exam to view the optic nerve at the back of your eyes and a gonioscopy to measure the angle where your iris and cornea meet. They also complete a tonometry test to measure your ocular pressure.
Treatment of glaucoma depends on the type and the severity of your symptoms. There’s no cure, but intervention can slow vision loss and prevent it from worsening. Your provider might recommend:
Prescription eye drops increase drainage in your eyes, taking pressure off your optic nerve. Because glaucoma is a chronic condition, you use eye drops for the rest of your life.
During laser treatment, your provider uses targeted light energy to improve fluid drainage at the back of your eye. The results of laser treatment aren’t permanent, so your provider might also prescribe eye drops.
Glaucoma surgery uses special tools to improve fluid drainage at the back of your eyes. It’s more invasive than lasers or eyedrops but provides better results.
Call Diablo Eye Associates to learn more about glaucoma treatment or book online today.