Millions of Americans aged 40 years old and older live with glaucoma today, many of whom are experiencing the early stages of the disease and may be unaware they have it. This is problematic because, if left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is, in fact, the leading cause of blindness worldwide, so early detection and treatment are paramount. At Cornea & Cataract Consultants of Nashville, we provide treatment for a variety of eye health conditions, including glaucoma.
Understanding Glaucoma and Its Major Symptoms
An ophthalmologist is the person best equipped to diagnose glaucoma, and every eye exam should include a glaucoma test for the safety of all patients. This eye disease is caused when fluid builds up in the eye, increasing pressure against the optic nerve. As the pressure builds, the optic nerve becomes irrevocably damaged and prevents visual information (sight) from being properly sent to the brain. A glaucoma test is sometimes referred to as a pressure test as it is designed to gauge the amount of pressure within the eye.
Sometimes, the pressure will happen slowly, and you will not notice it at all. Other times, and in advancing stages of the disease, a person will begin to notice that patches of their peripheral vision are missing. Because the brain will often compensate for visual irregularities, you may not notice this until it becomes so significant as to be unnoticeable. It feels like something is artfully taking your sight little by little until you wake up and realize so much is gone. Once that damage has been done, there is no going back. At least not with the technologies we have available to us today. That is why glaucoma is sometimes called the "sneaky thief of sight".
Treatment Is Possible with Early Detection
While there is no cure for late-stage glaucoma, there are treatment options that can prevent a patient from suffering blindness. What is recommended for treatment will vary depending on how far the eye disease has progressed and whether the cause is inherent (some people are genetically predisposed to glaucoma, and the risk of developing it becomes higher with age) or external (some medications can lead to glaucoma). Common treatment options include medicated eye drops, laser therapy, and glaucoma surgery.
Schedule Your Eye Doctor Appointment Today
An annual eye exam at Cornea & Cataract Consultants of Nashville can help you keep an eye out for this disease. Early detection is critical! Plus, our comprehensive eye exams can also weed out other visual problems. Contact our team today at (615) 320-7200 to learn more and to schedule your appointment. We are proud to serve patients throughout Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin, TN. We work with all major insurers and offer affordable rates for those without eye care insurance.