Glaucoma: What It Is and How It’s Treated
The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that as many as three million people in the U.S. may suffer from glaucoma. About half of those affected by the disease are not aware of their condition and have not sought treatment for this serious eye problem. The World Health Organization lists glaucoma as one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Among conditions that can cause serious visual impairment, glaucoma is ranked second only to cataracts. Scheduling an appointment with a Houston LASIK eye surgery specialist can often provide added treatment options and improved prognoses for glaucoma patients.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that can cause serious damage to the optic nerve, potentially causing partial or total vision loss for patients affected by this condition. It occurs when the interior structures of the eye become overloaded with fluid that cannot escape, causing a significant increase in pressure. This can cause damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for transferring data from the retina to the brain. This can cause serious side effects, which may include loss of vision, increased sensitivity to light, reduced ability to see in darkness and pain in and around the eyes.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Patients with glaucoma may experience a number of different symptoms, including the following:
- Dark or blank spots in the field of vision
- Swollen or red eyelids
- Double vision
- Haziness or blurring
- Flashes of light
- Halos appearing around light sources
In some cases, however, symptoms may be absent or may be so mild that they go unnoticed. This can allow glaucoma to cause severe damage to your vision before treatment can commence.
There is currently no cure for glaucoma. Effective treatments are available, however, that can provide real help for patients in protecting their vision and preventing further damage to the optic nerve.
- Prescription eye drops are often used to treat glaucoma by lowering the pressure of fluid inside the eye or by allowing fluid to drain from the eyes naturally. These methods are most often used when glaucoma is presenting only mild to moderate symptoms.
- Surgical methods can allow fluid to flow out of the eye more easily. This can restore pressure inside the eye to a normal level. A number of different procedures can be used to treat glaucoma. Working with an established Houston eye surgeon can allow you to identify the most effective treatment for your condition and to achieve the best possible results after your surgical procedure.
The Houston laser eye surgery specialists at Mattioli Vision Professionals can provide you with expert advice and surgical treatments for glaucoma and other conditions that could affect your ability to see clearly. If you believe you may be in the early stages of glaucoma, give us a call at 713-776-3937 to set up your own personalized consultation. We look forward to providing you with the best eye care in the Houston area.