Glaucoma is often called the silent thief of sight because it gradually damages the eyes before there are any noticeable symptoms. The condition affects millions of people around the world and is one of the leading causes of blindness. Patients often wonder, then, how it’s possible to track the development of glaucoma and prevent it from robbing their vision. Understanding how quickly glaucoma can strike is important to preserving your vision. Ahead, the team at Eye Clinic of Austin provides important information about the development of glaucoma and how you can keep your eyes healthy.
Types of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is separated into two main categories, and the progression of the disease depends on the particular type of glaucoma a patient has.
Open-angle glaucoma: The eye continuously produces a fluid called aqueous humor. When new aqueous humor is created, old fluid drains out of the eye in equal proportion, keeping the intraocular pressure of the eye in a healthy range. If the eye is not capable of draining the excess fluid, pressure builds and damages the optic nerve. In open-angle glaucoma, the increase in eye pressure is often gradual and goes unnoticed by patients. Open-angle glaucoma often runs in families, meaning your risk of developing the condition is higher if you have a parent or grandparent with this type of glaucoma.
Closed-angle glaucoma: In some cases, the fluid build-up is sudden and cannot drain out of the eye. This occurs when the iris bulges, causing the drainage canal to be obscured partially or fully. The blockage causes a rapid increase in intraocular pressure and is considered an emergency. Patients should be aware of the following symptoms of this type of glaucoma:
- Severe headache
- Blurry or distorted vision
- Halos or rings around lights
- Eye redness
- Severe eye pain
- Nausea or vomiting
Preserving Your Vision
When it comes to glaucoma, preserving your vision begins with regular eye examinations, allowing the chance for our doctors to identify signs of glaucoma. During your examination, you may be given a combination of glaucoma tests, such as an angle exam, corneal thickness measurement, eye dilation test, and an eye pressure check. Some people are at increased risk of developing glaucoma, including:
- Those over 40
- People with a family history of the disease
- Those with elevated eye pressure
- Patients with medical conditions like hypertension and diabetes
Contact Eye Clinic of Austin
Timely glaucoma diagnosis and treatment can prevent vision loss and help patients maintain a high quality of life. The doctors at Eye Clinic of Austin are here to help. Book an appointment online or call now for a consultation.