Dr Kenneth Chang, MD
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a manageable eye disease with timely diagnoses and treatment. In most instances, the cause is unknown. Your risk for glaucoma goes up with family history, prior eye trauma, or use of steroids (including nasal sprays, facial creams, and oral).
The main risk factor is increased pressure within the eye, but even people with normal eye pressures can get glaucoma. There are many forms of glaucoma, but the end pathway is damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends information from the eyeball to the brain. When the nerve is affected by glaucoma, vision is affected. Damage occurs occurs along a spectrum. Peripheral (side) vision is lost first followed by central vision loss. Once damage occurs, it is not possible to reverse the damage. The goal of treatment is to stabilize vision and prevent any further vision loss. Thus routine screenings and early diagnoses are crucial.
FAQ About Glaucoma
What causes Glaucoma?
The eyeball normally maintains a balanced pressure where the production of fluid is matched to the drainage of fluid. This occurs inside the eyeball and is distinct from outside tear production. In glaucoma, the eyeball does not drain fluid as well and the eye pressure goes up. The increased pressure destroys sensitive optic nerve fibers. Thus treatment is aimed at either reduction of fluid production or increase of fluid drainage to prevent further loss. The appropriate pressure goal is determined by combination of factors, and can be achieved through the use of medications, lasers, and/or surgery.
There is a a lot of active research to find the cause of visual loss in glaucoma.
What are early signs of Glaucoma?
There are some early signs of Glaucoma you should be aware of. When the drainage angle of the eye suddenly becomes completely blocked, pressure builds up rapidly, and this is called acute angle-closure Glaucoma. The symptoms include severe eye pain, blurred vision, headache, rainbow haloes around lights, nausea and vomiting. If you feel you are experiencing any of these signs, please contact us right away to schedule an eye examination.
Can you cure my Glaucoma?
Unfortunately, the only thing that is medically available is to treat Glaucoma. Yes, Glaucoma can be treated with medication, eye drops, traditional surgery and laser surgery. All of these treatments is to prevent your loss of vision because if you lose your vision from Glaucoma, it is irreversible. If you feel that you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned earlier or if you think you may have Glaucoma, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with us right away so we can do a thorough eye exam, this exam only takes a few minutes but it can determine if you do have Glaucoma or if the symptoms is something else or nothing at all. We always recommend not taking that chance, get tested early!
Is there anything that can prevent
No, there is no prevention for Glaucoma. We always recommend a healthy diet, keep your blood pressure down, maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, limit your intake of caffeine, wear protective eye gear when in the sun, eat foods that contain vitamin E and get regular comprehensive eye exams, especially if you are over the age of 40 or experience any eye problems or symptoms listed above. Don’t take a chance with your vision, you can call us or request an appointment for a quick eye exam. We are here to assist and educate our locals about Glaucoma and other eye diseases.
- Not noticeable in the early stages
- Blurry vision, loss of parts of vision
- Halos or “rainbow like” haze around images
- Severe Eye pain
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate care from us or an ophthalmologist. Don’t wait, Glaucoma is a manageable eye disease with timely diagnoses and treatment. We can help.