An increasing amount of information is available on glaucoma as baby boomers reach their senior years. Rather than a particular disorder, it is actually a collection of problems that inflict damage on the optic nerve. Being diagnosed with glaucoma after an eye exam is often a surprise for patients who are unaware of any symptoms. Our optometrists at Chico Vision Care Optometry check for and treat glaucoma as well as a wide variety of other eye health conditions.
An Overview of Glaucoma
Vision loss that is due to glaucoma is permanent. This disorder ranks as the second cause of blindness in the United States. It is the result of accumulating aqueous humor in an eye. Without the proper care, blindness may occur. You may begin to see blind spots as the damage to the optic nerve increases. Of the two types of glaucoma, open-angle is the more common. The second type is angle-closure. The two kinds differ in how the fluid blockage develops and then fails to drain correctly.
Symptoms & Risk Factors
The most common symptoms associated with open-angle cases are blind spots that occur in the central or side field of vision which can result in tunnel vision. Angle-closure patients typically experience halos around lights, blurry vision, headaches, eye pain, and eye redness.
Both types share these risk factors:
- Being older than 50
- A prior eye injury
- Extended use of corticosteroids
- Thinning in the central part of the cornea
- Family history
- Previous eye surgeries
- Above-normal intraocular pressure
- Being Hispanic, African-American, or Asian ethnicity
- Being severely nearsighted or farsighted
Sometimes the first sign of glaucoma is cloudy or foggy vision that advances to a loss of peripheral vision. Eventually, the disease starts to affect the central field of vision. Our eye doctors advise patients to receive a thorough eye exam once per year to check for this condition. Prescription eye drops and systemic drugs that will lower the pressure in the eye can be used to treat glaucoma. The damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed so early detection is key to preserving your vision.
Schedule an Eye Exam with Our Eye Doctors in Chico, CA
The symptoms of glaucoma are often very subtle, especially during the early stages. Our trained professionals can detect and treat this condition but only through a comprehensive eye exam. If you are new to the Chico area or if it has been a while since your last eye exam, call our team today at (530) 342-9644 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lim or Dr. Penningtonm at Chico Vision Care Optometry.