Glaucoma is a vision-threatening disease which causes damage to the optic nerve, typically from the intraocular pressure being too high for the health of the eye. The eye pressure is high in glaucoma patients due to the drainage system, in the inner corner of the eye between the cornea and the iris, being blocked. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss, and involves progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve. Through early detection, diagnosis and treatment, you and your doctor can help to preserve your vision.
There are two basic types of glaucoma which are open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common type of glaucoma which occurs in approximately 90% of those with the disease. It is a chronic condition, meaning that it develops slowly over time. In POAG, intraocular pressure increases because of improper drainage of aqueous humor from the eye. No symptoms or pain are typically noted in early stages, which is a reason why it is known as the “silent thief of sight.” Therefore, early detection through our extensive examinations are important.
Angle-closure glaucoma (also known as closed-angle glaucoma) is much rarer, occurring in less than 10% of those with the disease. Unlike POAG, in those who have angle-closure glaucoma, the eye pressure rises very quickly. This can occur due to drainage canals being blocked by the iris (similar to something covering the sink drain).
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower pressure in your eye. Treatment is determined on the specific type of glaucoma, severity of the disease, and how well it responds to treatment. Though damage done from glaucoma cannot be reversed, medicated eye drops, laser treatments and surgical intervention can help stop further damage. Medicated eye drops, laser treatments and surgery can all work to improve the flow of fluid out of the eye therefore lowering eye pressure.