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From Round Rock Eye Consultants

Glaucoma

The optic nerve is a sensory nerve that carries signals from our eyes to our brain. Glaucoma can cause damage to the optic nerve. If left untreated, vision loss will occur. While it is often associated with high pressure inside the eye, it can sometimes occur with normal pressure. Glaucoma can be insidiously present for years without any warning signs or symptoms. Unless the pressure is very high, the eye feels no pain.

When glaucoma is not managed properly, permanent damage can occur to the optic nerve and loss of vision will occur. Generally, visual acuity is preserved until the central vision is affected. Loss of vision is slow and gradual, leaving many patients unaware that damage is occurring. Unfortunately, once visual field is lost, it cannot be recovered.

To prevent the complications of glaucoma, you should be regularly screened with a careful eye examination. Glaucoma can have a myriad of presentations, which makes the early detection of glaucoma challenging.

  • Some people may have elevated eye pressure without evidence of damage to the optic nerves, called ocular hypertension.

  • A person who has some of the risk factors for glaucoma but has not shown any definitive nerve damage may be treated as a glaucoma suspect. These patients will need careful follow-up and special testing to determine if he or she will need treatment.

  • Some patients may have consistently normal pressures but may suffer progressive optic nerve damage typical of glaucoma, called normal tension glaucoma.

  • A less common type of glaucoma that can cause severe pain is called acute angle closure glaucoma. Patients present with a rapid onset of headache and blurred vision, sometimes with nausea and vomiting. It is treated differently. It is more often found in people who are very farsighted. A painless eye exam can identify patients who are at increased risk for this.

  • Certain medications can aggravate glaucoma so it is important you tell your doctor all medications that you are taking. Your ophthalmologist has to put all the medical information together while using family history, the appearance of both the front part of the eye and the optic nerves, eye pressures and other specialized diagnostic tests to diagnose and monitor glaucoma.

  • Dr. Meyer has extensive experience evaluating and treating glaucoma of all types and will inform you whether your eye has glaucoma or is suspicious for it. If treatment is initiated, he will recommend the most appropriate treatment for you. Depending on the individual circumstances, glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser, or eye surgery. The eyes are monitored over time as conditions may change and require an adjustment in the therapy. Glaucoma can be very complex. Be sure to ask your doctor about any questions you may have.

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Contact An Ophthalmologist Today

If you’ve decided that it’s time to see an ophthalmologist, contact your local eye experts in Round Rock. At Round Rock Eye Consultants, we’re always ready to help our patients diagnose eye issues early and take steps to eliminate the issue before it gets too bad. Contact us today to set up an appointment.