Glaucoma Treatment in Austin, TX
Your Eye Physicians of Austin Ophthalmologist Provides Help, Hope Fighting Glaucoma
Here’s the bad news:
- Most people with glaucoma don’t know they have it.
- Glaucoma will make you blind.
- It can’t be cured.
- It’s a leading cause of blindness in the United States.
Ready for some good news?
Glaucoma can diagnose glaucoma by using painless testing. And your Eye Physicians of Austin ophthalmologist can control it, if you get help soon enough.
Although anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at higher risk. They include:
- African-Americans over age 40.
- Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans.
- People with a family history of the eye disease. (A few children are even born with glaucoma. These children usually have obvious symptoms such as cloudy eyes, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing.)
The best way to control the eye disease is with early detection and treatment, before glaucoma causes major vision loss. So, if you are in a high-risk group, make sure to have your eyes thoroughly examined every two years. An Eye Physicians of Austin ophthalmologist will be happy to do the eye exam. Our eye doctors with a special interest in glaucoma include Dr. George Thorne, Jr. and Dr. Peter Wollan.
Many people may know of the “air puff” test or other tests used to measure eye pressure when you get your eyes checked. But this test alone cannot detect glaucoma. Glaucoma is found most often during an eye exam through dilated pupils. This means drops are put into the eyes to enlarge the pupils. This allows your Ophthalmologist to see more of the inside of the eye to check for signs of glaucoma.
Just what is this scary eye disease? At the front of the eye, there is a small space called the anterior chamber. Clear fluid flows in and out of the chamber to bathe and nourish nearby tissues. Commonly in glaucoma, for still unknown reasons, the fluid drains too slowly out of the eye. As the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises. Unless this pressure is controlled, it may cause damage to the optic nerve and other parts of the eye, resulting in loss of vision.
Increased eye pressure means you are at risk for glaucoma, but it does not mean you have this eye disease. A person has glaucoma if the optic nerve is damaged or potentially damaged by high intraocular pressure (IOP). Anytime there is increased eye pressure, follow the advice of your Eye Physicians of Austin ophthalmologist (who also can spot an uncommon form of glaucoma that occurs without increased eye pressure).
Whether you develop glaucoma usually depends on the level of pressure your optic nerve can handle without being damaged. That’s why a comprehensive dilated eye exam is very important. It can help your eye doctor determine the normal level of pressure for your unique eyes.
In the most common forms of glaucoma, there are no symptoms at first. Vision stays normal, and there is no pain. But as the eye disease progresses, eyesight gradually fails, starting with failure to see objects to the side.
An uncommon form of glaucoma, angle closure glaucoma, can happen suddenly. Symptoms include severe pain and nausea, as well as redness of the eye and blurred vision. If these symptoms occur, seek treatment immediately. Without treatment, blindness can occur within a day or two. If your eye doctor is unavailable, go to the nearest hospital or clinic.
Glaucoma treatment often involves prescription eyedrops or pills. For some patients, laser eye surgery or conventional eye surgery can help drain fluid out of the eye.
Even if you have lost some vision, treatment can still help. Also, ask your eye doctor about low vision services and devices that may help you make the most of your remaining vision.
Thanks to the National Eye Institute for help with this information.
Glaucoma can be scary, but not if you get help from an Eye Physicians of Austin eye doctor. The glaucoma specialists provide quick diagnosis and solid treatment options, including laser eye surgery.