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Glaucoma: A Type of Eye Condition That Comes With Old Age

Glaucoma is a term that refers to eye conditions, especially pressure within the eye, that work together to cause damage to the optic nerve in the eye. This is one of the eye conditions that comes with old age and progresses over time.

It's important to know the signs of this condition and to get your eyes checked for it regularly to prevent it from worsening. Make an appointment with us at Lone Star Vision to get your eyes tested or if you need glaucoma treatment.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

When loss of peripheral vision happens without affecting visual acuity, open-angle glaucoma may be diagnosed if the person experiences no early warning symptoms and only notices vision problems years after glaucoma first developed. The primary cause of open-angle glaucoma is an increase in fluid pressure within the eye due to blocked canals. When caught in its early stages, open-angle glaucoma can be treated successfully with medications such as alpha agonists and beta blockers that improve drainage and decrease intraocular pressure.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma produces symptoms:

  • Blurry, hazy vision
  • Seeing bright lights or rainbow-colored spots
  • Severe head and/or eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting may accompany head/eye pain
  • Sudden loss of vision

A rarer form of glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma is also the result of blocked drainage canals but this blockage causes such a rapid increase in pressure within the eye that immediate medical assistance is necessary for preventing permanent vision loss.

Are You at Risk for Glaucoma?

Although anyone can get glaucoma some people are at a higher risk for suffering glaucoma than others. Those considered high risk for glaucoma should receive a complete eye examination and eye dilation once every year.

People at risk for being diagnosed with glaucoma include African Americans, senior citizens (65+), those with a family history of glaucoma, older Hispanics and steroid users. In addition, anyone who suffers a traumatic eye injury, has myopia (nearsightedness), hypertension/high blood pressure and eyes that exhibit a corneal thickness less than .5 mm are considered at risk for developing glaucoma.

Cloudy Vision and Other Symptoms

There are two different types of glaucoma with varying symptoms. If you have primary open-angle glaucoma, you will experience a slow loss of vision in your peripheral vision field, which then develops into tunnel vision as the condition progresses. If you have acute angle-closure glaucoma, you can experience pain and redness in your eye and cloudy vision, as well as symptoms similar to a migraine, such as nausea, visual signs and light halos.

Effects of Glaucoma

Glaucoma usually worsens gradually over time. If it is left on its own to progress, it will generally cause peripheral blind spots and then tunnel vision. At its advanced stages, you can go blind from the condition.

Treatments for Glaucoma

With glaucoma, the sooner you get treatment the better. Treatment early on can prevent the glaucoma from progressing, blocking further damage to the optic nerve. To catch it early, get eye examinations with intraocular pressure measurements on a regular basis, especially if there is a history of glaucoma within your family or you are part of populations that are more at risk for this condition, such as those over 60 years of age and African-Americans.

Treatment options can't cure this condition, but they can manage it and prevent it from worsening. Treatments include eyedrops, medication you take orally and surgery. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is considered an emergency, so you need immediate treatment of medication and a laser procedure to manage the pressure.

Your Local Northern Texas Vision Center

Lone Star Vision is an eye care and optical office serving Plano, TX, Celina,TX and the surrounding areas. Our staff are trained professionals in the optometric field, so we can offer high-quality care for glaucoma and other eye concerns.

Our office provides eye exams to check for glaucoma, as well as glaucoma treatment if you have the condition. The recommendation in the field is to have your eyes checked for glaucoma starting at the age of 40 or earlier if you have risk factors for the condition.

Make an Appointment Today

If you are ready to get checked for signs of glaucoma, or if you need glaucoma treatment, make an appointment with us at Lone Star Vision. Call our Plano office at 972-378-4104 or our Celina office at (972) 382-2020. Don't wait until the glaucoma progresses; catch it as soon as possible to keep your eyes healthy as long as possible.

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