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Glaucoma is commonly referred to as the silent thief of sight and is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness worldwide. It affects over 3 million Americans and 70 million people around the world, most of whom don’t even know they have it.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that transmits visual information from the eye to the brain. In most cases, this nerve damage is produced by increased fluid pressure within the eye. This elevated pressure is caused by a backup of fluid in the eye. Over time, it causes damage to the optic nerve. Through early detection, diagnosis and treatment, you and your doctor can help to preserve your vision and often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.
There are a variety of different types of glaucoma. The most common forms are:
- Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
- Normal Tension Glaucoma
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma
- Pigmentary Glaucoma
- Exfoliation Syndrome
- Trauma-Related Glaucoma
- Childhood Glaucoma
When it’s glaucoma, insist on the experts
Each of our glaucoma specialists is Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained. That’s quality and experience you can trust. They utilize the latest technology and enjoy an excellent reputation and high patient satisfaction. From the first moment a friendly staff member greets you, throughout your treatment, you’ll receive the compassionate care and personal attention that you deserve.
Who is at risk for Glaucoma?
Everyone should be concerned about glaucoma and its effects. It is important for each of us, from infants to senior citizens, to have our eyes checked regularly, because early detection and treatment of glaucoma are the only way to prevent vision impairment and blindness. There are a few factors related to this disease which tend to put some people at greater risk:
People over the age of 40: While glaucoma can develop in younger patients, it occurs more frequently as we get older.
People who have a family history of glaucoma: Glaucoma appears to run in families. The tendency for developing glaucoma may be inherited. However, just because someone in your family has glaucoma does not mean that you will necessarily develop the disease.
People with abnormally high intraocular pressure (IOP): High IOP is the most important risk factor for glaucomatous damage.
People of African, Latino, and Asian descent: People with African and Latino ancestry have a greater tendency for developing primary open-angle glaucoma than do people of other races. People of Asian descent are more prone to develop angle-closure glaucoma and normal-tension glaucoma.
People who have:
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Regular, long-term steroid/cortisone use
- A previous eye injury
- A family history of glaucoma
- Extremely high or low blood pressure
Everyone under 40 should have a comprehensive eye examination every three to four years. Individuals under 40 with one of the above risk factors should get tested every one and a half to two years. Everyone 40 years or older should have a comprehensive eye examination every one and a half to two years. If you are 40 and have an additional risk factor listed above, get tested annually. Anyone with high risk factors should be tested every year or two after 35.
How can people with glaucoma protect their vision?
There is no cure for glaucoma. And vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. However, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of further vision loss and blindness. Because glaucoma often lacks early symptoms, early detection and treatment are key. That’s why regular eye exams are so important.
What are my treatment options?
There is no cure for glaucoma. Vision lost from the disease cannot be restored. Treatment options depend upon the type of glaucoma but can include eye drops, medications, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods. The goal of any treatment is to prevent loss of vision, as vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. The good news is that glaucoma can be managed if detected early, and that with medical and/or surgical treatment, most people with glaucoma will not lose their sight.
Learn more about glaucoma diagnosis and treatment.
“Very professional. Listens to me. Explains procedure to me using his own drawn pictures of the eye. Very kind. I feel very lucky to have him as my doctor. He is an expert in glaucoma.”
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Take the first step.
A careful, comprehensive eye examination by one of our eye specialists is the first step. Our doctors use very specialized technologies — and years of training and experience — to examine your eyes and check for the presence of disease, including glaucoma. At your examination, your doctor will personally discuss with you the health of your eyes, how your condition is affecting your vision and what further diagnosis and treatment options are appropriate and available. The bottom line: Don’t take chances with glaucoma. Trust the experts. Insist on Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania.
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