Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Early detection is essential for many reasons.
If an eye doctor can detect this eye condition early, non-invasive treatments may be able to control glaucoma and preserve your eyesight. Keep reading to learn if eye drops can help with glaucoma!
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition often caused by increased pressure in the eye. It’s dangerous because it can permanently damage the optic nerve, which is vital to allow you to see clearly.
Glaucoma is not a single condition but a grouping of several types of disorders. Glaucoma can lead to loss of vision if left untreated.
While indicators of the most common forms of glaucoma reveal increased pressure in the eye, glaucoma can also be present even if the eye pressure is normal. Glaucoma is also frequently hereditary.
If your family members have glaucoma, let your eye doctor at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, Oregon know. They will closely monitor your eye health to catch any initial indications of glaucoma.
Unfortunately, you can develop glaucoma and not even know it. There are no symptoms in the early stages, which is why regular comprehensive eye exams are so important to preserve your vision.
Causes of Glaucoma
Aqueous humor is the fluid that your eye produces. It fills the front part of the eye and flows to reach the eye’s drainage system.
Your eye’s health is dependent on balancing this flow. One way to check the balance is by measuring intraocular pressure, or IOP, the eye’s intraocular pressure.
With normal pressure levels, the millions of nerve fibers that run from the retina and form the optic nerve function smoothly, providing you with clear, sharp, bright eyesight. However, increased pressure can damage these nerve fibers.
Too much pressure, and these fibers die off. This is when vision loss occurs.
At this point, the loss is irreversible: any vision you’ve lost is vision you can’t get back.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Often there are no early-stage symptoms. Yet if left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a loss of peripheral or side vision.
It may feel like you’re peering through a tunnel. Eventually, central vision is reduced until blindness occurs.
Who’s at Risk for Developing Glaucoma?
The risk increases with age, particularly for individuals over forty. Others at risk are those with a family history of glaucoma, diabetics, individuals with extreme nearsightedness, or those who’ve used steroid medications for a long time.
If you have glaucoma, there are various treatment options. Depending on the type of glaucoma, your treatment may include prescription eye drops for less severe cases.
Your eye doctor may suggest microsurgery to thoroughly drain the eye’s fluid or certain laser surgery procedures.
Glaucoma Treatment Using Eye Drops
Though there is no cure for glaucoma, treatments that reduce intraocular pressure can stop the progression of the condition. Prescription eye drops are the most common treatment for glaucoma.
They work by lowering the pressure in your eye and preventing damage to your optic nerve. There is no cure for glaucoma, and there’s no way to restore any vision you’ve lost.
Treatment will halt further loss of sight as long as you take the drops as directed. Prescription eye drops for glaucoma need to be applied to the eye every day.
Depending on the type of medicine you’re prescribed, you might have to do this as little as once a day or up to four times a day. Eye drops are your way of taking control of your eye health.
Do you want to learn more about the available treatment methods for glaucoma? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR, today!