By 2030, the National Eye Institute says that the number of Americans with glaucoma is expected to reach 4.2 million. That’s a nearly 60% increase over today’s numbers. Glaucoma can slowly take your vision, often before you realize it’s happening, and that’s why annual comprehensive eye exams at Eye Innovations in Philadelphia and Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, are so crucial. Optometrist Archima Major, OD, and her experienced team can detect the early symptoms of glaucoma, and then help you prevent further eye damage. Call the office nearest you today.
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve in the back of your eye is severely damaged. This leads to gradual vision loss that could eventually cause blindness. Because symptoms of glaucoma are usually very subtle at the start, a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to learn whether you have this eye disease.
Although glaucoma isn’t curable at this time, early treatment can stop or slow down the damage. The two main categories of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure.
Open-angle glaucoma is the type affecting 9 in 10 sufferers. It causes peripheral (side) vision loss, and can also cause central vision loss that can result in total blindness if untreated. Experts are still uncertain about what causes this form of glaucoma, but it's likely connected to high eye pressure, where the fluid inside your eye drains too slowly and starts pushing on the optic nerve.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is classified as a medical emergency by the National Eye Institute. In acute angle-closure glaucoma, normal fluid flow in your eye is suddenly blocked. This causes symptoms like severe eye pain, red eyes, blurry vision, nausea, and vomiting. If you have these symptoms, see a medical doctor or get to the nearest emergency room immediately.
In some cases, angle-closure glaucoma can progress more slowly, similar to the progression of open-angle glaucoma. This is called chronic angle-closure glaucoma. The Eye Innovations team can detect chronic angle-closure glaucoma during a comprehensive eye exam.
There are other, less common forms of glaucoma as well, including normal-tension glaucoma, in which you don't have elevated eye pressure.
The Eye Innovations team uses advanced tests like:
The team may also do other tests during a dilated eye exam to diagnose glaucoma.
The first treatment for glaucoma is usually prescription eye drops that can stop, or at least slow, disease progression. The Eye Innovations team can prescribe glaucoma eye drops, and then monitor your disease during regular appointments.
If your glaucoma progresses, you may need laser therapy and/or surgery. For both laser therapy and surgery, the Eye Innovations team can refer you to an experienced ophthalmologist who specializes in advanced eye disease and surgery.
Request your glaucoma evaluation at the state-of-the-art Eye Innovations facility by using the online booking tool or calling the office nearest you today.