Glaucoma is a disease that can get progressively worse for years before you begin to experience symptoms. By then, your optic nerve is already damaged — which is why early diagnosis and treatment is so important for protecting your vision. The doctors at Marina Del Rey Optometry encourage you to get routine eye exams, including glaucoma screening so they can find the problem and take steps to prevent it from worsening. Please don’t wait — call the office in Marina Del Rey, California, or schedule an appointment online.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve — the optic nerve can’t heal itself, so damage is permanent. When glaucoma isn’t diagnosed and treated early, progressive nerve damage causes loss of vision and blindness.
Glaucoma develops when intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye) rises higher than normal. Intraocular pressure is controlled by fluid in your eyes. As new fluid is constantly produced and flows into the eye, an equal amount of old fluid must flow out of the eye to maintain normal pressure.
When this system gets out of balance — often because the drainage system doesn’t work properly — eye pressure increases. As pressure goes up, it pushes against the optic nerve, damaging the fragile nerve cells.
The most common types of glaucoma include:
With early detection and treatment, you can keep eye pressure normal and protect your eyes from nerve damage and vision loss. The tricky thing about glaucoma is that most people don’t have symptoms until nerve damage is severe enough to cause vision problems.
The best way to protect your vision is with regular eye exams. The doctors at Marina Del Rey Optometry perform several tests to detect glaucoma, including tonometry (which measures eye pressure) and a dilated eye exam (to examine the appearance of your retina and optic nerve).
Your doctor also does a visual field test, which measures your peripheral vision. Loss of peripheral vision is the first sign of glaucoma.
Treatment options for glaucoma include:
Eye drops are the first line of treatment for glaucoma. They contain diverse medications that lower eye pressure by reducing fluid production or improving fluid drainage from the eye.
Laser and conventional surgeries are used to improve eye drainage. One type of surgery, trabeculectomy, removes a small amount of tissue to create a new channel for fluid to drain. A stent can be placed in the eye to bypass blocked areas and facilitate drainage. Another type of laser surgery targets the structures that produce fluids so that less fluid is released into your eyes.