Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can cause permanent vision damage if left untreated. This eye condition is chronic and often causes a slow, gradual change in vision.
The progression of glaucoma is often so slow that detecting changes to your vision can be incredibly difficult. Besides gradual vision changes, glaucoma usually does not present any other symptoms.
Due to these subtle symptoms, glaucoma can damage your vision before you even notice anything is wrong. Keep reading to learn if you will be able to tell if you have glaucoma!
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the result of increased pressure inside the eye. Eye pressure can rise when your eye creates too much fluid or not enough fluid is leaving the eye.
The fluid leaves the eye through a drainage channel called the angle.
The angle of your eye is located where the iris meets the cornea and sclera, which is the white part of your eye.
This system allows the vital fluid that flows through the eye to cycle out and be replaced with new fluid. If this drainage angle becomes blocked or partially cut off, the fluid cannot leave the eye faster than it is produced.
When the fluid cannot leave the eye at an adequate rate, the eye pressure will build. This pressure begins to strain the delicate systems in the eye, particularly the optic nerve.
The optic nerve sends information from your retina to your brain, making it a key component of vision. If the eye pressure stays elevated, more damage to the optic nerve will occur, and your vision will be permanently affected.
The best way to avoid vision damage from glaucoma is to see your eye doctor for routine exams. During routine eye exams, your eye doctor can monitor changes in your eye pressure and compare them with previous readings.
How Can I Avoid Permanent Damage From Glaucoma?
If your eye doctor detects glaucoma, treatment begins as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your vision. The only way to prevent your eye pressure from damaging your optic nerve is to reduce the eye pressure.
Many eye doctors will recommend medicated eye drops as the first method of treatment to reduce eye pressure. These eye drops can lower eye pressure as long as they are used consistently.
It is essential to follow the instructions for your glaucoma medication closely as recommended by your eye doctor. If the medication is not taken consistently, your eye pressure can rise, causing further vision loss.
Your eye doctor may recommend glaucoma surgery to reduce eye pressure in some cases. Shunts can be installed in the eye to assist in draining the fluid.
Successful glaucoma surgery can reduce eye fluid for some time, but you will still likely need to use glaucoma drops to keep the pressure down. The best way to avoid vision damage from glaucoma is by visiting your eye doctor for routine eye exams.
Have you been noticing vision changes? Schedule an appointment at Kovach Eye Institute in Chicago, IL, today!