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Glaucoma Diagnosis and Management at Your Kennesaw Eye Doctor
About 4 million Americans have glaucoma, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, and nearly half of those people may not know they have the disease. Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease that can cause permanent loss of vision. But the good news is, there are ways of treating it to reduce the risk of vision loss. The key is to see your eye doctor for regular appointments and eye exams to look for signs of the disease and to prevent existing disease from becoming worse.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes the optic nerve to become damaged. In a healthy eye, light gathers on the light-sensitive retina at the very back of the eye. The retina gathers data about the images we see, then that data is transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain uses that information to create the images we see. When the nerve is damaged, the eye and brain can no longer work together, and the result is a permanent loss of vision. Most glaucoma develops when the pressure inside the eye - the intraocular pressure or IOP - increases beyond normal levels. Less commonly, the optic nerve can be damaged even when the IOP is at or near normal levels. This type of glaucoma is called normal-tension or low-tension glaucoma.
Am I at risk for glaucoma?
Glaucoma most commonly occurs in people who:
- are older
- have a family history of glaucoma
- have diabetes or high blood pressure
- are very nearsighted (myopic)
- have had a prior eye injury or eye surgery
- have taken corticosteroids for a long time
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Glaucoma rarely causes any symptoms until some loss of vision has already occurred, earning it the nickname of "the silent thief of sight." That’s why it’s so very important to have regular comprehensive eye exams to allow your eye doctor to look for subtle indications you might have the disease or be at risk for it.
How will my eye doctor determine if I have glaucoma?
Your eye doctor will use a couple of different methods to diagnose glaucoma:
- First, you’ll have a comprehensive dilated eye exam to enable the eye doctor to look at your retina and your optic nerve so these areas can be assessed for signs of damage that can occur even if your IOP is normal.
- Second, the eye doctor will use a special device to measure the pressure inside your eye. The test is quick, noninvasive and completely painless.
What treatments are available for glaucoma?
Although glaucoma can’t be cured, there are treatments that can protect your vision and help control elevated IOP. Most patients respond well to special prescription eye drops or oral medications to control IOP; in a few cases, you may need to be referred to an eye surgeon for a procedure to help the eye drain fluid more effectively.
Schedule an eye exam with a top-ranked Kennesaw eye doctor today.
Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease that requires ongoing management to prevent blindness. Having routine eye exams is essential for diagnosing the disease early so you can receive appropriate care. As a leading eye doctor in Kennesaw, Hobson Eye Associates helps patients in and around Kennesaw manage their glaucoma so they can enjoy optimal vision and prevent vision loss. If you have glaucoma or if you haven't had a glaucoma test recently, call our office at 770-424-2020 and schedule an eye exam today.