Did you know that 60 million people worldwide suffer from glaucoma? If you are one of them, you need a trusted local glaucoma specialist. You can find one at Elmquist Eye Group, located in both Fort Myers and Cape Coral.
What is glaucoma and what are the symptoms? Let’s explore. Glaucoma is a silent disease, and by the time most people notice significant vision loss, glaucoma has already likely progressed to an advanced stage and done significant damage in the process.
There is no way to recapture vision loss that has already resulted from glaucoma, and the condition cannot be reversed by surgery, so regular eye exams from a local glaucoma specialist are of the utmost importance.
Regular eye exams are the only way our doctors can detect the optic nerve damage that occurs with glaucoma. Vision loss is also an indicator of glaucoma, but it occurs so gradually that most patients don’t notice until it is too late.
Glaucoma does not have any symptoms. Our comprehensive eye exam consists of several tests designed to detect glaucoma in the early stages so that we can develop a proactive plan to protect your vision.
Glaucoma Causes and Treatments
When the internal eye cannot maintain its fluid regulation, glaucoma occurs. The intraocular pressure inside the eye builds up to high levels and damages the internal eye structures. The eye has no way to relieve the pressure, so the pressure just goes higher. It eventually presses on the optic nerve and causes damage. Over time, the nerve fibers are permanently damaged and vision loss occurs.
Left untreated, glaucoma will eventually lead to total irreversible blindness. Fortunately, as a condition, glaucoma can be treated using one of three standard treatments, all of which are designed to reduce the intraocular pressure inside the eye. By lowering this pressure, our doctors can prevent further vision loss. All three treatments are designed to preserve any remaining vision, but the treatments cannot recover lost eyesight from damage that has already occurred.
Medication is the first treatment method. Eye drops or oral medications are used in early-stage glaucoma to lower the pressure internal to the eye. Laser trabeculoplasty is conducted in-office and is designed to drain the internal eye fluid to lower intraocular pressure.
Conventional surgery is used if the other two methods are not successful. The procedure involves the surgeon creating a new opening in the eye that allows fluid to continuously drain and thus lower pressure.
Why Screening Is Crucial
Despite the fact that medications and surgical procedures can treat glaucoma, regular eye screenings are still the best way to detect glaucoma, which is very important to catch as early as possible. If you are concerned that you might have glaucoma, and it has been a while since you have had an eye exam, come see our local glaucoma specialist at Elmquist Eye Group. Give us a call today so we can preserve your precious vision.