Glaucoma is an eye condition you should receive routine screening for, especially as you age. It can cause you to lose vision and even affect your ability to read, drive, and enjoy life. That's why our ophthalmologist and optometrists at New Century Ophthalmology is here to provide the testing and treatment you need for glaucoma. Here are a few common questions patients often have about glaucoma and how we can help.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve in your eye, which is the part of your eye that transmits visual information to your brain. Generally, it occurs when there's damage to your optic nerve from an abnormally high amount of eye pressure. Although there are various reasons why people develop this condition, we often see patients suffering from glaucoma due to a family history of it.
What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
The symptoms depend on what type of glaucoma you have. You could have either open-angle or angle-closure. With open-angle glaucoma, you may develop patchy blind spots. They affect either your central or peripheral vision. Although it can affect one eye, this type of glaucoma more commonly affects both eyes. On the other hand, with angle-closure glaucoma, you may experience blurred vision, severe headaches, eye pain, and halos around light. Some people experience nausea and vomiting as well and will notice their eyes appear red.
What Happens if You Don't Treat Glaucoma?
Glaucoma will worsen if left untreated. You can eventually lose all of your vision. It's actually one of the leading causing of blindness in people over 60 in the US. Unfortunately, any vision loss that you experience from glaucoma is permanent, and our ophthalmologist won't be able to recover it once it's gone.
How Do Eye Doctors Diagnose Glaucoma?
Our eye doctors diagnose glaucoma using one or more diagnostic tests, such as tonometry, a test that assesses pressure in your eyes. Additionally, our eye doctors may perform a visual field test to determine if you have experienced any vision loss and where it's at. Part of your screening may also include a dilation exam, so our physician can look inside your eye and evaluate the optic nerve.
What Is the Standard Treatment for Glaucoma?
Angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and will require immediate eye care, consisting of medication and surgery. With open-angle glaucoma, our eye care specialists might advise you to take medication to reduce the pressure. If that isn't enough, our ophthalmologist can perform a procedure to alleviate eye pressure or reduce fluid in your eye.
Contact Us for Quality Eye Care in Oxford or Raleigh, NC
Glaucoma is a manageable condition, but early detection is crucial for the best outcome. Our eye doctors provide professional eye exams to thoroughly diagnose whatever eye-related issue you may be experiencing. At New Century Ophthalmology, our team is dedicated to helping our patients maintain their vision and eye health for years to come. To schedule an appointment, contact our Raleigh location at (919) 861-4494 or our Oxford office at (919) 693-6661 today.