Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment in the USA today. Without trying to cause alarm, it’s possible that you are suffering from the disease right now and are completely unaware of its presence; they call glaucoma “the silent thief of sight” with reference to its ability to slowly pick away at your vision over time, without detection.
The key to protecting against glaucoma is regular examination.
You should have your eyes assessed every 12 months as part of your overall health management routine. The reason being that while you may not notice any symptoms, the cutting-edge technology and technical expertise at Twin Lakes Vision Clinic allows us to spot the development of the disease months, perhaps years, before your vision becomes compromised.
Advances in imaging and measurement technology allow us to perform a comprehensive inspection of your eyes and deliver an accurate diagnosis of any glaucoma development, even in its earliest stages.
As well as the fact that it can present with very few visible symptoms, glaucoma is also a blanket term for a number of different conditions, which can make self diagnosis virtually impossible and emphasizes the need for a professional assessment.
This is the most common form of glaucoma and accounts for over 90% of cases in the US. The eye has built-in drainage canals to remove excess fluid; what happens in cases of open angle glaucoma is that these canals become blocked, resulting in increased intraocular (ie, inner eye) pressure which damages the optic nerve and consequently affects our ability to see clearly.
Unlike open angle glaucoma where the drainage canals slowly clog over time, those who suffer with acute glaucoma have narrowed drainage chambers and therefore cannot drain the fluid very effectively. Blockages can occur with very little warning and cause dangerous and noticeable symptoms very quickly. These symptoms include severe eye pain, excessive tearing and blurred vision. Again, symptoms are caused due to the pressure put on the optic nerve.
In some unusual cases of glaucoma, the intraocular pressure is within normal bounds, even though the patient displays all of the symptoms consistent with open-angle glaucoma (ie, the same sort of optic nerve damage).
Though glaucoma is much more common in older adults than any other age group, it is possible for newborn children to be diagnosed with a form of the disease known as congenital glaucoma. In fact, it is a leading cause of blindness in newborns, affecting 1 to 15 in every 10,000 births.
There is no cure for glaucoma and most treatment methods revolve around relieving the intraocular pressure and therefore the strain put on, and the damage done to, the optic nerve. Since vision lost to glaucoma is permanent, the best way to maximize retained vision is through early diagnosis and diligent management of the condition.
We are with you every step of the way.