What is Glaucoma? | Family Eye Physicians

What is Glaucoma?

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Types of glaucoma, causes, risks, and treatment

Glaucoma is an eye disease that results in damage to the optic nerve. It causes a buildup of fluid which increases pressure on the front part of the eye. It is a degenerative condition, meaning it gets worse over time, and it could result in a complete loss of vision. Glaucoma can occur without warning and with no symptoms.

The highly-trained doctors at Family Eye Physicians can test for glaucoma and prescribe a treatment plan to limit vision loss. Visit us online or call us today at 708-636-9393 to schedule an appointment.

Types of Glaucoma

There are several types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the eye fails to drain properly. Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the eye does not drain properly due to the narrowness of the drainage space between the iris and the cornea. 

Other types of glaucoma include secondary glaucoma, which is a result of cataracts or diabetes, and normal-tension glaucoma, which is when the pressure is normal but a blind spot or nerve damage has occurred. Pigmentary glaucoma is when tiny pieces of the pigment from the iris clog the eye’s drainage system

Causes & Risk Factors

With normal eye functioning, fluid flows through a channel in the eye. This channel acts as a drain to keep the fluid from building up. For people with glaucoma, this channel is blocked. This can be due to an eye injury, but in most cases, it isn’t clearly understood what causes glaucoma to develop. Glaucoma is difficult to detect because there are no symptoms other than the loss of vision. There are some risk factors to look out for, however. 

Glaucoma affects adults over 40 years of age, although younger people can also experience it. It is believed to be hereditary. Ethnicity is another risk factor with higher rates of the disease found among African Americans as well as those of Scandinavian, Irish, Russian, Hispanic, and Japanese descent. Other risk factors include a previous eye injury, poor vision, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia. 

Treatment for Glaucoma

Regular eye exams are necessary to test for glaucoma. As a part of the examination, an eye doctor measures eye pressure and tests the optic nerve for damage. The overall vision is checked and the cornea is measured. An inspection of the drainage angle is also conducted.

Damage caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed, however, it can be slowed. Pressure on the eye can be relieved which limits vision loss. It’s important to catch glaucoma in its early stages. The doctor may also prescribe eye drops and oral medications. Laser treatment or surgery may also be recommended.

Schedule Your Glaucoma Test Today

Contact Family Eye Physicians Laser Centers today for a complete eye exam to test for glaucoma. Our team of expert doctors and eye care professionals also provide laser cataract surgery, premium cataract implants, diabetic laser treatment, laser vision correction, and more. We serve patients in Buffalo Grove, Orland Park, Oak Lawn, and the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. Schedule an appointment online or call us today at 708-636-9393.

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