Glaucoma Specialist in Sinking Spring PA
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Rather than being a single disease, glaucoma is a group of optic nerve diseases. Glaucoma actually affects over three million Americans. If you are one of them, and you live in Sinking Spring PA, the glaucoma specialists at our Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania location in Wyomissing are ready to see you.
Glaucoma in its most common form is called open-angle glaucoma and it affects 2.7 million Americans over age 40. This form initially has no symptoms but gets progressively worse. Individuals lose peripheral vision and can become totally blind if the condition is not treated.
Optic nerve damage occurs due to the sustained high pressure inside the eye, called intraocular pressure. While the high pressure doesn’t directly cause glaucoma, it is a significant risk factor. The optic nerve bundle transmits information from the eye to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve can lead to vision loss and even complete blindness.
African Americans are three to four times more likely to have this form of glaucoma, and African Americans are actually 15 times more likely to develop blindness than are Caucasians. Hispanics are at much higher risk of glaucoma after age 65.
Angle-closure glaucoma is another type that can be in acute or chronic form. The acute form occurs when the fluid flow between the lens and the iris of the eye is blocked. Symptoms are sudden and include severe pain, nausea and vomiting and blurred or halo vision. This is a medical emergency that must be quickly treated. If not, blindness can occur within one day.
The chronic form progresses more slowly but can produce damage similar to the open-angle form. Chronic angle-closure glaucoma also has no symptoms.
There are several key risk factors for glaucoma. If you have high eye pressure or a family history of glaucoma, you are at greater risk. African Americans over age 40 are at higher risk as are Hispanics over age 60. In general, everyone over age 60 is at higher risk for open-angle glaucoma.
If you have thin corneas, you may be at higher risk as well. There are certain features of the optic nerve appearance that may also put you at higher risk.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Regular eye exams are crucial for detecting, diagnosing and preventing damage to the optic nerve. Our board-certified physicians and professional staff use several diagnostic tests, including visual acuity and visual field tests. We perform a detailed dilated eye exam and can even perform high resolution imaging of the optic nerve.
Many people who have glaucoma are not even aware they have the disease. This is why the dilated eye exam is particularly important for individuals who are at a high risk for glaucoma. If you are in this category, you should have an eye exam every one or two years as recommended by your doctor.
If you fit any of these risk categories, do not hesitate to contact us. Our treatments are designed to slow the disease and halt further vision loss. For patients in Sinking Spring PA, our glaucoma specialist in Wyomissing is ready to see you in 2021. Call us today at 610-378-8500 or visit our Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania website to schedule an appointment.
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