Glaucoma afflicts at least 3 million people in the U.S. alone. This eye disease causes irreversible damage that can lead to blindness if not treated as early as possible. Unfortunately, many people who have glaucoma don't even realize that their vision is in danger since glaucoma rarely causes symptoms until it has caused a significant amount of damage. That's why you need to take steps to get your eyes checked and, if necessary, treated. At Cornea & Cataract Consultants, we have provided residents of Nashville, Franklin, and Murfreesboro with glaucoma treatment options for many years.
How Glaucoma Steals Your Eyesight
A variety of underlying health problems can cause or contribute to glaucoma, a term used to describe progressive damage to the optic nerves. These nerve bundles relay visual data from the retinas to the brain. If they fail, so does your ability to see. The main risk of such failure comes from elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Your eyes constantly produce fluid, and extra fluid needs to be carried away from a drainage mesh to keep eye pressure normal. If the drainage slows or stops, the fluid pressure inside the eye can do permanent damage to the optic nerves.
Most glaucoma sufferers have what's called open-angle glaucoma, in which the drainage mesh still works, but only sluggishly. It may take years for sufferers to notice symptoms such as peripheral vision loss. Some people may experience a more acute problem called angle-closure glaucoma, a sudden total stoppage of fluid drainage. This condition produces sudden symptoms such as eye pain, vision loss, and nausea. If you experience these symptoms, seek emergency treatment!
Diagnosis and Treatment at Our Colorado Springs Optometry Clinic
Your risk for glaucoma rises after the age of 60 (or after the age of 40 if you're African-American). Our Colorado Springs optometry clinic includes glaucoma screening in your regular comprehensive eye and vision exam. In addition to checking your peripheral vision for any signs of impairment, we also measure your intraocular pressure for any telltale signs of drainage problems. If you do have glaucoma, we can prescribe eye drops or oral drugs to help regulate your IOP. It's important to take these medications every day without fail. More stubborn or advanced glaucoma may call for quick and painless outpatient surgery to aid eye drainage. We can refer you to the necessary specialists for such procedures.
Ready to Protect Your Eyes against Glaucoma?
If you want to keep enjoying your eyesight for many years to come, protect your eyes against glaucoma starting today. Call Cornea & Cataract Consultants today at (615) 320-7200 for more information or to schedule an appointment.