Glaucoma is characterized by high levels of pressure on or damage to the optic nerve. There are several kinds of glaucoma, but the two major forms are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. With POAG, the canals that drain fluid from the eye become clogged, causing inner eye pressure to rise. Primary open-angle glaucoma can develop over several years without symptoms or vision loss. When left untreated, primary open-angle glaucoma gradually reduces vision; however, when diagnosed early, it usually responds well to treatment. With angle-closure glaucoma, pressure builds to high levels when the angle between the iris and cornea becomes obstructed. When angle-closure glaucoma develops quickly, it is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.
What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
People with glaucoma often do not experience any symptoms until they begin losing their peripheral vision. One of the scariest things about glaucoma is that it usually has no symptoms in the early stages, earning glaucoma the name “silent thief of sight.”
As glaucoma progresses, symptoms may include:
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty adjusting vision in dark rooms
- Difficulty focusing on close work
- Halos around lights
- Frequent need to change eyeglass prescriptions
Glaucoma can cause permanent and irreversible vision loss if it is left undiagnosed and untreated. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants immediately to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants, we believe early detection and management through medication are vital to glaucoma treatment. Additionally, laser procedures such as laser trabeculoplasty are available. Quick and virtually painless, laser trabeculoplasty uses a laser to gently relieve intraocular pressure without damaging tissue.
It’s estimated that a million or more Americans have glaucoma and don’t even know it. Glaucoma can steal your vision very gradually, and although there is no certain cure, it can be prevented. Anyone can be at risk, so it’s important to have your vision regularly examined, especially if you have a family history of glaucoma.