There are two types of glaucoma, open-angle and angle-closure, and they are both very serious conditions. Glaucoma is caused when the pressure in the eye increases, which can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve. Without treatment, glaucoma can result in permanent blindness. At Eyes First Vision Center in Middletown, with 10 locations in New Jersey, our doctors of optometry can help slow the development of glaucoma to prevent further loss of vision.
What Are Open-Angle and Angle-Closure Glaucoma?
Open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma are the two main types, with open-angle glaucoma being the most common. Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the eye's drainage system drains slowly. When the fluid cannot drain properly, the pressure in the eye increases. Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the eye's drainage system becomes completely clogged, which causes a rapid increase in eye pressure.
What Are the Symptoms Of Glaucoma?
The symptoms of glaucoma would depend on the type of glaucoma that you have. Open-angle glaucoma usually shows no early symptoms. Without annual eye exams, you may not know that you have it until permanent vision loss has occurred. Angle-closure glaucoma causes extreme symptoms as soon as the pressure in the eye increases. These include:
- Severe eye pain
- Blurry vision
- Seeing halos around lights
- Nausea and vomiting
How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
During your annual eye exam, our optometrists will perform a dilated eye exam to get a good look at your optic nerve. They will also check the pressure in your eye. If glaucoma is suspected, our doctors of optometry will perform a visual field test to determine if any peripheral vision has been lost. They will also take photos so that they can track the progression of the disease.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
There is no cure for glaucoma, however, there are treatment methods available to slow the progression of the disease. In the early stages, our eye doctors can prescribe eye drops to keep the pressure in your eye down. In the later stages, laser surgery can be helpful.
- Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT): This procedure is used for open-angle glaucoma and it is designed to open the drainage system in the eye, allowing fluid to drain correctly.
- Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI): This procedure is used for angle-closure glaucoma. A laser is used to make an opening in the iris, which allows the fluid to by-pass its normal route.
- Trabeculectomy: This is a traditional surgery where the surgeon would create a passage in the white of the eye as a way for the excess fluid to drain.
Because glaucoma is such a serious condition and it often shows no early symptoms, annual eye exams with Eyes First Vision Center in Middletown are essential. Our doctors of optometry will check your eye pressure and the condition of your optic nerve during each visit. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, we will create a treatment plan immediately to save your eyesight. To schedule an appointment, give any of our 10 locations a call today.