Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that doesn't show symptoms in the early stages. By the time you have visual disturbances because of glaucoma, you are already going to be dealing with some vision loss. Early detection of glaucoma is essential to preserving the vision you have.
Yearly eye exams make it possible to test the pressure within your eye. If the pressure is elevated, this indicates that glaucoma could be present. When the disease is caught early, treatment can help prevent further deterioration of your vision. High pressure in your eyes causes damage to your optic nerve and is why it is so important to get your eyes checked annually.
Types of Glaucoma
The two most common types of glaucoma are angle closure glaucoma and primary open angle. Your optometrist will talk to you about the glaucoma you have and work with you to develop a treatment plan to help preserve your vision. The development of glaucoma is hard to predict, and there's nothing you did to cause it to develop.
While genetics may play a small role in glaucoma, age and other unknown factors also play a part. Treatment to reduce the pressure within your eyes is necessary to glaucoma symptoms from getting worse.
How Your Optometrist Treats Glaucoma
The first step in treating glaucoma is to reduce the pressure within your eyes. Your optometrist may prescribe eye drops to reduce the pressure. You may need to go for more frequent exams if the pressure remains elevated.
Medication may also be used to try to reduce the pressure. If medication and eye drops don't work, your optometrist may suggest a surgical intervention to take care of the pressure. The longer your eye pressure is elevated, the more damage that is being done to your optic nerve.
Living With Glaucoma
When you have a new diagnosis of glaucoma, your eye doctor might want to see you every week until your eye pressure is under control. You can work to improve your overall health by getting more exercise and eating a healthier diet. Pay attention to your optometrist when it comes to your medication for glaucoma, and always take it as prescribed.
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma and you aren't experiencing vision problems, you have probably caught it in the very early stages. With good treatment, you should be able to maintain the vision you currently have. For more information, contact an eye doctor at an office such as Northwest Ophthalmology.