Glaucoma is a relatively common eye condition, especially in older people. As a result, if you get diagnosed with glaucoma, you can rest easy knowing you’re not alone.
Getting that diagnosis does mean making some adjustments, though. Doing so goes a long way toward protecting your ability to see through the years.
We’re here to help with precisely that. As specialists in eye diseases like glaucoma, our team here at Edwin Y. Endo, OD & Associates can help you protect your eye health. For support in navigating a glaucoma diagnosis, don’t hesitate to visit our team in Aiea, Hawaii.
We can give you some info right here, too. Let’s dig in.
Glaucoma actually isn’t a single condition. Instead, it’s the name used for a group of conditions that affect the pressure in your eye.
Normally, the fluid in your eye can drain as needed to maintain proper pressure. But when you have glaucoma, that fluid doesn’t drain the way it should. This causes pressure buildup in your eye, which puts pressure on your optic nerve. That pressure can damage the nerve, causing vision problems.
The symptoms you experience depend on the type of glaucoma you have. With open-angle glaucoma — the most common type — you don’t feel anything or notice anything different at first. As the pressure gradually builds in your eye, you get patchy blind spots. These start in your peripheral vision but can affect your central vision if the glaucoma goes unchecked.
Closed-angle glaucoma, on the other hand, comes on suddenly. It can cause abrupt vision problems, paired with other symptoms like headaches, eye pain, and halos in your vision. This type is much rarer.
If you are diagnosed with closed-angle glaucoma, you need immediate treatment because this type of glaucoma is an eye emergency. However, most people receive a diagnosis of open-angle glaucoma.
Most people can address their glaucoma with prescription eye drops. Using these on the schedule your optometrist recommends helps to regulate the pressure in your eye. In some cases, we might recommend oral medication, too.
If medications don’t decrease the pressure in your eye sufficiently, you may be a candidate for laser surgery that can help improve the drainage from your eye.
Ultimately, a glaucoma diagnosis isn’t great news, but it shouldn’t be overly troubling either. If you follow your optometrist’s treatment instructions, you should be able to keep the pressure in your eye at a healthy level, protecting your vision for the long term.
For help navigating your own glaucoma diagnosis — and for a personalized treatment plan — call our office or book your visit online today.