Detection and treatment of Glaucoma is a specialty at CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic - DeHaven. We put our experience to work to help patients arrive at the best treatment option for their eyes.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and affects approximately one out of every 50 adults. It is a complicated disease that damages the optic nerve and leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. However, if diagnosed early, glaucoma can be effectively treated.
Glaucoma is usually caused by an increase in fluid production or a decrease in fluid drainage in the eye. The change in fluid levels eventually destroys the optic nerve fibers and results in loss of vision.
There are a few types of glaucoma:
Open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, often goes undiagnosed because there is no discomfort or pain, and no change in vision until there is already a significant loss. It occurs when fluids do not drain properly due to a gradually built blockage deep within the eye. The increased pressure damages the optic nerve and causes loss of vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma is quite rare, but has much more pronounced symptoms that include blurred vision, pain, halos around lights, and even nausea. It is caused by a rapid increase of pressure inside the eye due to blocked fluid drainage channels.
Normal-tension glaucoma (NTG), is also known as low tension or normal pressure glaucoma. In this type of glaucoma, damage occurs to the optic nerve without eye pressure exceeding the normal range. Causes are unknown, but for some reason, the optic nerve is susceptible to damage from a normal and relatively low amount of eye pressure.
Glaucoma of all types is usually detected during regular eye exams. Special instruments are used to check the fluid pressure in the eye, and a magnifying lens is used to examine the drainage channels for proper fluid outflow.
When detected early, glaucoma can usually be treated and vision can be preserved. There is no cure, though-once vision is lost it cannot be restored.