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Glaucoma Diagnosis and Co-Management
The expert optometrists at Corinth Eye Clinic and Weeden Eye Clinic diagnose and co-manage glaucoma. Learn more about glaucoma, a serious, sight-threatening eye disease, including risk factors, testing, and treatment options.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve, which is essential for good vision. Glaucoma is often associated with high pressure in the eye, but this is not always the case. Glaucoma is a serious condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated.
Types of glaucoma
There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type and develops slowly over time. Closed-angle glaucoma is less common but more severe and can cause sudden symptoms.
Symptoms of glaucoma
The early stages of glaucoma often have no symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may notice some or all the following symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
- Gradual loss of peripheral vision
- Halos around lights
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Risk factors for glaucoma
While everyone is at risk for glaucoma, there are certain groups of people who are at higher risk. Risk factors for glaucoma include the following:
- The risk of developing glaucoma increases as you get older. According to the National Eye Institute, people over the age of 60 are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. However, glaucoma can occur at any age, and certain factors, such as a family history of the condition, can increase your risk at a younger age. It is important to have regular eye exams, especially as you get older, to ensure that any eye conditions, including glaucoma, are detected early, and can be treated effectively.
- If you have a family history of glaucoma, you are at increased risk of developing the condition.
- African Americans are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma, especially those over the age of 40. Hispanics are also at an increased risk of developing glaucoma, particularly those of Mexican descent.
- High pressure inside the eye is a major risk factor for glaucoma.
- Previous eye injuries or surgeries may increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
- Some medications, such as corticosteroids, may increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
- People who are nearsighted are at increased risk of developing glaucoma.
It is important to be aware of your risk factors for glaucoma and to discuss them with your eye doctor. Regular eye exams can help detect glaucoma early and prevent vision loss.
Diagnosis of glaucoma
There are several tests that may be used to diagnose glaucoma. Your eye doctor may use one or more of the tests below, along with a comprehensive eye exam, to diagnose glaucoma.
This test measures the pressure inside your eye.
This test measures your peripheral (side) vision to check for any vision loss caused by glaucoma.
This test allows your eye doctor to examine the drainage angle in your eye, which can help determine the type of glaucoma you have.
This test measures the thickness of the cornea, which can help your eye doctor determine the pressure inside your eye.
This test allows your eye doctor to examine the optic nerve and other structures inside your eye.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) uses light waves to create detailed images of the layers of your eye, including the optic nerve.
Treatment of glaucoma
Treatment for glaucoma may include medications, laser surgery, or traditional surgery. The goal of treatment is to lower the pressure in the eye and prevent further damage to the optic nerve. It is important to follow your eye doctor’s treatment plan and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor your condition. Glaucoma is a chronic disease that must be treated for life. Although not curable, glaucoma is manageable, and most people with glaucoma do not go blind. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your doctor will determine the best treatment for you.
Schedule an Eye and Vision Exam
If you have any concerns about glaucoma or your eye health, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors at Corinth Eye Clinic or Weeden Eye Clinic. Protecting your vision is our top priority.