Glaucoma is a term used to refer to a group of eye diseases that ultimately cause damage to the optic nerve. Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma; but there are treatments available to help manage the condition and prevent vision loss. People with glaucoma often experience slow and gradual vision loss that is so subtle, it is virtually undetectable until it reaches advanced stages. Glaucoma often presents no other symptoms than vision loss, which is why it is important to visit your eye doctor periodically for comprehensive eye exams. As the disease progresses, it can cause eye pain and nausea, as well as total vision loss.
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
Glaucoma is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. Because glaucoma is a progressive disease, meaning it worsens over time, a change in the appearance of the optic nerve, a loss of nerve tissue, and a corresponding loss of vision confirm the diagnosis. Some optic nerves may resemble nerves with glaucoma, but the patients may have no other risk factors or signs of glaucoma. These patients should have routine comprehensive exams to monitor any changes.
How is glaucoma treated?
Glaucoma treatment is aimed at reducing pressure in the eye. Regular use of prescription eye drops are the most common and often the first treatment. Some cases may require systemic medications, laser treatment, or other surgery. While there is not yet a cure for glaucoma, early diagnosis and continuing treatment can preserve eyesight.
There is no cure for glaucoma. Patients with glaucoma need to continue treatment for the rest of their lives. Because the disease can progress or change without warning, compliance with eye medications and undergoing eye examinations are essential; treatment may need to be adjusted periodically.
Keeping eye pressure under control can slow or stop damage to the optic nerve and continued loss of vision. Your optometrist may focus on lowering the eye pressure to a level that is least likely to cause further optic nerve damage. This level is often referred to as the target pressure and is likely a range rather than a single number. Target pressure differs for each person, depending on the extent of the damage and other factors. Target pressure may change over time. New medications to help fight glaucoma are always being developed.
Early detection, prompt treatment and regular monitoring can help to control glaucoma and reduce the chances for vision loss.
If you have questions regarding glaucoma please schedule an exam with one of our optometrists today at (480) 991-0509.
Optics of Scottsdale
20301 N. Hayden Road | Suite 100 | Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Phone: (480) 991-0509 | Fax: (480) 419-9515
Hours of Operation
Mon - Thu: 9am - 6pm
Fri 9am - 5pm
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