What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the medical term used to refer to an eye disorder that leads to optic nerve damage. Glaucoma is characterized by progressive loss of vision.

The optic nerve is a bundle of over a million nerves which transmit vision to the brain for interpretation. In glaucoma, these nerve fibers become damaged or die.

What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
Initially peripheral vision loss. It can advance to central vision loss.

How Common is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. Some other risk factors for glaucoma include thin corneas, medications that increase eye pressure and chronic eye inflammation.

What Causes Glaucoma?
The exact cause of glaucoma is still unknown. The disease is usually associated with an increase in the pressure of the fluid inside the eye. However, some individuals with glaucoma have normal eye pressures.

When does Glaucoma Occur?
Glaucoma occurs most often in people over the age of 40 and in people with a family history of glaucoma.

How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
Diagnosing glaucoma begins with a comprehensive eye exam at Shanks Family Eye Care. During this exam, your doctor uses tests to evaluate your eye more thoroughly including tests to measure the pressure inside of your eye. Additional testing allowing your eye doctor to examine the nerve fiber layers in your eye can assist in monitoring the progression of glaucoma.

How is Glaucoma Treated?

  • Medications: These medications are intended to keep eye pressure under control and are prescribed for life
  • Surgery: Laser Surgery or Drainage Implants

Glaucoma Research Foundation: http://www.glaucoma.org/index.php