When fluid pressure within the inner eye increases and damages optic nerve fibers, glaucoma results. Glaucoma—common in older adults, but occurring at any age—is the second most common cause of blindness. It is called the ‘silent thief of sight’ because it gives no indications at all until the disease is very advanced, and once vision is lost, it can never be regained.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Initially, blind spots may develop, but these can go unnoticed until more extensive damage occurs to the optic nerve. The most common type of glaucoma, chronic open-angle glaucoma, occurs steadily over time and causes few symptoms. Another type, angle-closure glaucoma, results from a sudden build-up in eye pressure. If any of these symptoms develop, please call your doctor or the Medical Eye Center immediately:
- Blurred vision
- Severe eye pain
- Rainbow halos around lights
- Nausea and vomiting
Treatment of Glaucoma
There are three types of surgery for Glaucoma: Medication Drops, Laser Surgery and Filtration Surgery.
Glaucoma is often controlled with eye drops. These medications decrease eye pressure outflow, by slowing the production of aqueous fluids within the eye. For these medications to work, you must take them regularly and continuously.
Laser surgery treatments may be effective for different types of glaucoma. Depending on the type of glaucoma you have, the laser is usually used in one of two ways to help reduce pressure on the optic nerve.
When filtration surgery is needed to control glaucoma, miniature instruments are used to create a channel that helps relieve the pressure on the optic nerve.