Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that causes abnormally high eye pressure and damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a crucial part of your vision as it sends messages to your brain to turn into images. Glaucoma tends to affect the side or peripheral vision first, damaging your eyesight before you know you have the disease. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are critical because once your vision is lost to glaucoma, there’s no bringing it back. However, glaucoma progression can be slowed with various treatments at Mittleman Eye in Palm Beach and Jupiter, Florida.
How Glaucoma Leads to Blindness
Researchers believe optic nerve damage in glaucoma patients is due to increased eye pressure, which may be caused by multiple issues. Your eye is filled with aqueous humor, a watery liquid that flows out through the drainage angle where the pigmented iris meets the sclera (white outer layer of the eye) through the trabecular meshwork (a spongy tissue). Some glaucoma patients experience increased eye pressure because of poor aqueous humor drainage, causing the fluid to build up and increase pressure inside the eye. That heightened pressure slowly damages the nerve fibers needed for vision.
However, glaucoma may also cause optic nerve damage without abnormal eye pressure in some patients (normal tension glaucoma), and how glaucoma affects vision depends on the type of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the eye disease and causes gradual vision loss. Angle-closure glaucoma can steal your vision quickly and is considered a medical emergency.
Treatments to Preserve Vision in Glaucoma Patients
Glaucoma is nicknamed the “silent thief of sight” because most patients are not diagnosed until they have already lost some of their vision, causing irreparable harm. Catching glaucoma early is key to preserving vision. Our team of doctors at Mittleman Eye can identify signs of glaucoma during a comprehensive eye exam by measuring the fluid pressure of the eyes. Though there is no cure for glaucoma, our eye doctors can manage eye pressure with medications, laser treatments and eye surgery.
Medicated eye drops are typically the first-line treatment for glaucoma. New technology and surgical techniques may offer long-lasting treatment with MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries) that improve fluid drainage using microscopic instruments and decrease the risks of previous procedures.
Regular eye exams are your first defense against glaucoma. These visits ensure you have good vision and healthy eyes. Schedule an eye exam with our ophthalmologists at Mittleman Eye in Palm Beach and Jupiter, Florida.
Patients can make an appointment directly online or text or call 561-500-2020 to start a conversation and make an appointment.