Glaucoma – Risk Factors, Causes, Treatment and Prevention Modalities
If you experience severe eye pain, blurred vision, or sudden loss of both peripheral and central vision, immediately call your physician if you’ve had sudden, extensive vision loss or eye pain. Lowcountry Eye Specialists are masters when it comes to all-things eye care and health. We encourage you to give them a call.
Many of the drugs used to treat glaucoma can also have serious side effects, including dry eye syndrome; increased pressure in the eye; increased sensitivity to light; increased chance of eye infections; vomiting; nausea; and itching or irritation around the eye area.
If you’ve had glaucoma, your physician will most likely prescribe eye drops or oral medication for you to swallow once he or she determines that the disease has progressed to the point that surgery is needed. However, these medicines are effective only if they’re taken as directed.
Glaucoma occurs when the opening between the iris and the optic nerve becomes narrow, either through genetic or environmental factors. It is typically most common among people over the age of sixty but can affect anyone.
Regardless of the cause, glaucoma causes damage to the sensitive tissue surrounding the eye. The result is usually permanent vision loss. If you’ve ever wondered, “How to Treat Glaucoma,” read on. You’ll learn about two different types of glaucoma and the treatments used for each.
Open-angle glaucoma, also known as “open-angle” glaucoma, typically develops because the pressure within the eye increases, causing a change in the iris. As the iris narrows more, the amount of fluid that lubricates the inside of the eye also decreases.
This results in increased pressure within the eye. If this type of glaucoma is not treated, it can progress quickly, reaching the point where vision may become impaired. This type of glaucoma must be diagnosed and treated by a qualified doctor.
In contrast, laser-assisted intraocular pressure (LASIK) treats glaucoma by removing the part of the eye that causes it. Because it only needs to be treated once, this type of treatment is often less expensive than many other types of treatments.
To understand how LASIK works, it’s helpful to know a little about the disease. The primary symptom of glaucoma is normally blindness. However, it does not always happen that way. Some people develop symptoms first, such as nausea, pressure, light sensitivity, or increased sensitivity to bright lights.
Typically, aqueous humor leaks from the back of the eye into the choroid, a sac that collects eye fluid, waste products, and debris. This can occur when there is damage to the cornea or the eye itself. Another cause is a loss or damage to the choroid.
It may then build up behind the eye over time. When this occurs, the cornea no longer has the same level of protection against the flow of aqueous humor. Instead, aqueous humor builds behind the cornea and causes it to be inflamed and irritated, eventually causing blindness.
Since the usual cause of this condition is an injury to the eye, treating glaucoma with LASIK essentially removes the need for corrective eye surgery. As mentioned, the goal of laser eye surgery is to correct eye damage; however, if the damaged portion of the eye is eliminated, there will be no need for LASIK surgery.
Also, when aqueous humor leaks from the back of the eye into the choroid, the resulting condition is called “radiospinal thickening.” Treating glaucoma primarily with LASIK does not address the underlying issue of vision loss.
For this reason, it is not recommended that LASIK is done immediately following an accident or trauma that causes vision loss. Typically, a patient who experiences a sudden and permanent vision loss should first wait approximately six months before receiving LASIK eye surgery.
This is to give the body time to recover and rebuild nerve cells that were lost in the accident. Also, it gives the patient the time to go through the natural process of adjusting to having a lessened vision.
There are many treatment options available for those with glaucoma symptoms. Treating these symptoms early and avoiding as much trauma as possible can significantly reduce the effects of glaucoma.
For more information on glaucoma symptoms and treatments, please visit the Eye Surgery Center today.