What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, often due to elevated pressure within the eye. It is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. At Clinton Eye Associates, we specialize in diagnosing, treating, and managing glaucoma to preserve your vision and eye health.

What causes glaucoma?

The exact cause of glaucoma is not fully understood, but it is often associated with increased pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure) that damages the optic nerve over time. Other factors such as genetics, age, ethnicity, and certain medical conditions may also play a role.

Are there different types of glaucoma?

Yes, the two main types of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, progresses slowly with no noticeable symptoms until vision loss occurs. Angle-closure glaucoma is less common but can cause a sudden increase in eye pressure and requires immediate medical attention.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

In the early stages, glaucoma may not present any noticeable symptoms, which is why regular eye exams at Clinton Eye Associates are crucial for early detection. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include peripheral vision loss, blurred vision, halos around lights, and eye pain or redness.

Who is at risk for glaucoma?

Certain factors increase the risk of developing glaucoma, including age (being over 60), a family history of glaucoma, certain medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension, prolonged steroid use, and certain ethnicities, such as African Americans and Hispanics.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

Glaucoma is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination at Clinton Eye Associates, which may include measuring intraocular pressure, assessing the appearance of the optic nerve, visual field testing, and imaging tests like optical coherence tomography (OCT).

Can glaucoma be cured?

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for glaucoma. However, with early detection and treatment, the progression of the disease can often be slowed or halted, preserving remaining vision and maintaining quality of life.

What are the treatment options for glaucoma?

Treatment for glaucoma aims to lower intraocular pressure to prevent further damage to the optic nerve. This may include prescription eye drops, oral medications, laser therapy (such as selective laser trabeculoplasty or SLT), or surgery (such as trabeculectomy or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery).

How often should I have my eyes checked for glaucoma?

We recommend regular comprehensive eye exams, including glaucoma screening, at least every two years for individuals aged 18 to 60, and annually for those over 60 or with other risk factors for glaucoma.

Can I prevent glaucoma?

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent glaucoma, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, avoiding smoking, and managing other medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension, may help reduce the risk of developing the disease.