Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can cause fluid to build up and this can lead to increased pressure within your eye. This condition is one of the leading causes of vision loss in individuals across the globe and can affect people of all ages, though it is more common in the elderly. Our doctors specialize in the effective treatment of glaucoma at our West Nyack and Garnerville, NY, offices, which helps to manage and slow the progression of this disease. If you are experiencing any changes in your vision, it is critical that you receive an eye exam as soon as possible to protect your vision and quality of life.
Causes and Symptoms of Glaucoma
The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle, which is often caused by limited or blocked drainage from the front compartment of the eye under the cornea. This condition can lead to an increase in the eye’s intraocular pressure, resulting from a buildup of fluid. Over time, the increase in pressure can eventually damage the optic nerve. Unfortunately, there are generally few warning signs of open-angle glaucoma. The disease can advance quickly before you notice any changes to your vision. When changes do occur, they are likely to include blind spots in your field of vision, which tend to progress over time.
Acute angle glaucoma, also known as closed-angle glaucoma, is a serious concern that is deemed a medical emergency. This condition develops when the iris bulges and completely blocks the flow of fluid through the eye. Resulting symptoms and side effects can be severe, such as:
- Eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Intense headache
- Redness and inflammation of the eye
- Blurred vision
Without timely attention, acute angle closure glaucoma can lead to serious damage to the optic nerve and potential vision loss.
How We Diagnose Glaucoma
Because open-angle glaucoma presents very few symptoms, regular eye exams, especially as you age, are essential. If you have a genetic tendency or other risk factors for this disease, you should get regular screenings beginning at age 40. At Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we use a variety of advanced technology to aid in the diagnosis of glaucoma. These include:
- Visual Field Machines, which detect blind spots caused by glaucoma
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which scans the optic nerve to assess its overall health
- Photographic Equipment, which monitors the optic nerve’s appearance and health over time
When allowed to progress, glaucoma can eventually result in a complete loss of vision, which is irreversible. With our care, we can detect glaucoma early and protect your eyesight.
Glaucoma Treatment Options
With early intervention, we can often manage glaucoma and stabilize your condition. As preliminary and maintenance treatments, we can prescribe oral or topical medications, such as eye drops, to help regulate your intraocular pressure. If, for some reason, these do not work and the disease continues to advance, we may recommend surgery.
Glaucoma is a serious concern and can lead to lasting, life-altering vision loss.
We offer selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) for patients who do not experience relief from non-surgical treatments. This procedure is performed on patients with open-angle glaucoma and takes just a few minutes to complete in our office. SLT uses advanced lasers to target the specific drainage tissues within the eye. The energy can affect the tissue to improve the flow of fluid from the eye to lower overall intraocular pressure.
Do You Need Glaucoma Treatment?
Glaucoma is a serious concern and can lead to lasting, life-altering vision loss. If you notice any changes in your vision, you should contact our office online or call us right away at (845) 947-2240 for an appointment.