What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that causes high pressure inside the eye. The high pressure builds up and progressively damages the optic nerve as it builds. This damage first causes blind spots to develop in the vision. These blind spots usually go undetected until more severe damage has occurred. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years old. Luckily if treated early, glaucoma will not cause blindness. The optic nerve is progressively injured, so damage is gradual.

Your iris has a hole in it and liquid flows in and out. When you have glaucoma, the iris has blocked the drainage hole and liquid cannot flow out of the eye. It continues to build up and as it builds up it damages the optic nerve. This pressure inside the eye is called intraocular pressure. Eventually the optic nerve will die and cause blindness. If glaucoma is caught early on then surgery can prevent further damage.

The most common symptom of glaucoma is darkened peripheral vision. The edges of your vision will appear grey or black and will get worse until surgery is performed. Spots may appear in your vision as well. If you are at high risk for glaucoma, it is important to get your eyes checked regularly.

Who is at risk for glaucoma?

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Age – The older one is, the more likely glaucoma is to occur.

Race – African Americans are at a much higher risk. Hispanics are also at risk.

Diabetes – It is believed that diabetes may be a risk factor for glaucoma.

Family History – Those with a parent, brother, or sister with glaucoma are at higher risk.

Current guidelines recommend that you should be screened by an ophthalmologist if any of the following apply to you:

You have a parent or sibling who was diagnosed with glaucoma.

You are an African American over age 50.

You are a Latin American over age 65.

You have diabetes.

How do you fix glaucoma?

Depending on your individual situation, we may prescribe medicated eye drops, medications, surgery, laser treatments, or other therapies.

If surgery is necessary, glaucoma is fixed in a procedure where the surgeon makes a tiny cut in your eye's drainage tube to relieve the pressure. The surgery will be performed by our Las Vegas ophthalmologist in our high-end surgery center.

Do you think you may have symptoms of glaucoma? Make an appointment for a consultation today!

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