Glaucoma Evaluation Fort Myers
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the world when left untreated. Schedule an evaluation at Elmquist Eye Group in Fort Myers to find out what treatment options may be available to prevent further damage to your eyes.
Elmquist Eye Group has served Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Southwest Florida for more than two decades. E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, Kate Wagner, OD, his partner, and Nina Burt, OD and Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD, his associates, provide a complete range of services, including comprehensive eye exams and diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of eye conditions.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve located at the back of the eye. It typically develops slowly and without any symptoms or pain. You may hear it called the “silent thief of sight” because as much as 40% of vision can be lost before a person begins to notice.
The optic nerve is made up of about 1 million nerve fibers, like an electrical cable that contains many wires. It is essential for vision because it carries images of the objects we see to the brain.
There is also a natural fluid in the eye, called aqueous humor, which is produced constantly to nourish the front of the eye between the lens and the cornea. This fluid helps to maintain a healthy level of pressure inside the eye and flows out through a microscopic drainage system.
If the drainage area (called the drainage angle) becomes blocked and is unable to drain properly, pressure within the eye can build up and push against the optic nerve fibers, causing blind spots to develop. Permanent vision loss results when the entire optic nerve is significantly damaged or destroyed.
Glaucoma often occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the eye slowly rises, but checking only the eye pressure is not enough because even people with normal eye pressure can develop the disease.
At Elmquist Eye Group, we will measure your eye pressure (tonometry); inspect the drainage angle of your eye (gonioscopy); evaluate your optic nerve; and test the visual field of each eye. People at higher risk for glaucoma should get a complete eye exam, including eye dilation, every one or two years.
Comprehensive dilated eye exams are extremely important in detecting glaucoma before it damages your vision. When detected and treated at an early stage, glaucoma can be controlled.
For most people, eye drops are the primary treatment to help reduce the pressure inside your eye. Sometimes, oral medications are also prescribed. When medications are not enough to keep the intraocular pressure under control, laser surgery or surgery in the operating room may be needed to help promote proper drainage and prevent fluid and pressure from building up.
Schedule a glaucoma evaluation at Elmquist Eye Group in Fort Myers to learn more about what causes glaucoma and whether you may be a risk. Call us today at (239) 936-2020 for an appointment.