Glaucoma is often referred to as the “sneak thief of sight”, because it can cause irreparable damage to vision, without showing any symptoms. This is why doctors stress the importance of routine eye exams, because if glaucoma is detected early on, damage to vision can be prevented.
Glaucoma is caused by increased eye pressure, which in turn causes damage to the optic nerve. The eye has a drainage system that allows the fluid that nourishes the eye to cycle in and out. When this drainage system can’t drain fast enough, or if the drainage system can’t keep up with an increased amount of fluid, pressure starts to slowly build up within the eye. This pressure causes the eye to press up against the optic nerve in the back of the eye, which is essential for vision. The optic nerve will become damaged when exposed to this pressure for a period of time.
Glaucoma is a very serious condition, and often the only way to detect it is through an eye exam. There are two types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma, described above, which shows no symptoms, and angle-closure glaucoma. Closed-angle glaucoma, unlike open-angle glaucoma, causes a complete blockage of the drainage system in the eye. This causes eye pressure to increase very quickly. This results in pain for the patient, and should be addressed immediately to prevent vision loss.
Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma:
If you experience these symptoms, call your ophthalmologist immediately. Sight lost by either form of glaucoma is not reparable, and all doctors can do at this point is stop further vision loss from occurring. With regular eye exams, you can prevent glaucoma from causing vision loss! Give us a call to schedule an eye examination today!