Glaucoma is a serious disease of the eye. It occurs when your eye's drainage system isn't working properly. When the fluid in your eyes cannot drain properly, it causes a rapid spike in eye pressure. This increase in pressure can cause permanent damage to your optic nerve. While there is no cure for glaucoma, our team at C-Luminous Eyecare in Charlottesville can create a treatment plan to help slow the progression of the disease, which will preserve your vision longer.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two types of glaucoma. The first is open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type. It occurs when your eye's drainage system functions similarly to a slow kitchen drain. This type of glaucoma shows no signs until permanent vision loss has occurred, which is why it is known as “the silent thief of sight.” In the later stages, loss of side vision occurs, and eventually, tunnel vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the eye's drainage system stops functioning completely. This causes a rapid increase in the eyes' pressure, causing symptoms to begin right away. These symptoms include:
- Severe eye pain
- Severe headache
- Blurry vision
- Halos around lights
Glaucoma can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. During an eye exam, our eye doctor will perform a tonometry, which measures the pressure in your eyes. If the pressure is high, we will run further tests. These tests include:
- Gonioscopy to inspect the drainage angle
- Pachymetry to measure the thickness of the cornea
- Visual field tests to check for areas of vision loss that have already occurred
The treatment plan that our optometrist chooses will depend on the type of glaucoma you have and how far the disease has progressed. In the early stages, we may want to simply monitor your condition. As the disease progresses, there are a few treatment options our eye doctor will consider.
- Eye drops: Our optometrist can prescribe eye drops that are designed to keep the pressure in your eyes down.
- Laser trabeculoplasty: This is a laser procedure designed to open the clogged channels, allowing the fluid to drain properly, keeping the pressure in your eyes down.
- Trabeculectomy: During this procedure, your doctor will create an opening in the eye so he or she can remove part of the eye's drainage system, which will allow the fluid to drain.
- Drainage tubes: Your eye doctor can insert small shunts into your eyes to allow the fluid to drain properly.
Glaucoma Testing in Charlottesville, VA
Because glaucoma is so serious and the most common type shows no early symptoms, you must schedule annual eye exam appointments at C-Luminous Eyecare in Charlottesville. When the condition is caught early, treatment can begin to help preserve your vision for as long as possible. Call us today at (434) 973-7996 to schedule your appointment.