Several diseases affect the eye, either directly or as part of a system-wide problem. Often serious, these conditions require immediate professional Colorado eye care to preserve your vision. Thanks to modern advances in eye care knowledge and technologies, most eye conditions and diseases are treatable by a Vision Care Specialists’ eye doctor.
What is it?
The eye is constantly producing and circulating a clear aqueous humor that moves through drainage canals of the anterior chamber angle in the front of the eye near the iris. When this clear fluid is unable to escape, often due to a blockage, fluid builds in the eye and increases pressure on the optic nerve, which is known as Glaucoma. Glaucoma, if left untreated, can lead to vision loss. There are two forms of glaucoma:
- Open-Angle Glaucoma – The most common type of glaucoma patients with open-angle glaucoma will exhibit no symptoms until they begin to gradually lose their peripheral vision. Though its cause is unknown, people with a higher risk of open-angle glaucoma include patients with a family history of open-angle glaucoma and certain ethnicities.
- Angle Closure Glaucoma – Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle closure glaucoma does exhibit symptoms, which include headaches, blurry vision and pain, and nausea. Angle closure glaucoma occurs when the drainage canals become blocked and requires immediate medical treatment.
Diagnostic testing is helpful in diagnosing and managing glaucoma. At Vision Care Specialists we utilize the latest technology and eye imaging equipment. In combination with a comprehensive eye examination, utilizing the tests below will assist our Colorado eye care professionals in determining if you are experiencing vision loss from glaucoma.
- Visual Field (VF) testing is conducted by staring straight ahead into the VF machine and clicking a button when you notice a blinking light in your peripheral vision. The visual field test may be repeated at regular intervals to make sure you are not developing blind spots from damage to the optic nerve or to determine the extent or progression of vision loss from glaucoma.
- Ocular coherenceTomography (OCT) imaging captures micrometer-resolution, three-dimensional images of the inner eye to help diagnose and monitor glaucoma before it gets to the vision loss stage.
- Gonioscopy also may be performed to make sure the aqueous humor (or “aqueous”) can drain freely from the eye. In gonioscopy, special lenses are used with a biomicroscope to enable your eye doctor to see the structure inside the eye (called the drainage angle) that controls the outflow of aqueous and thereby affects intraocular pressure.
Signs & Symptoms
Known as the “silent thief of sight,” open angle glaucoma, typically causes no pain and produces no symptoms until noticeable vision loss occurs. For this reason, glaucoma often progresses undetected until the optic nerve already has been irreversibly damaged, with varying degrees of permanent vision loss.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma symptoms may occur suddenly and can include blurry vision, halos around lights, intense eye pain, nausea and vomiting. If you have these symptoms, make sure you immediately call a Vision Care Specialists eye doctor or visit the emergency room immediately so steps can be taken to prevent permanent vision loss.
Glaucoma is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can result in permanent vision loss. As with most medical conditions, early treatment of glaucoma is imperative to prevent vision loss. Treatment for glaucoma depends on the type of glaucoma that has been diagnosed. In most cases, treatment is centered on lowering the IOP of the eye to relieve pressure on the optic nerve. Vision Care Specialists offers medical (eye drops and pills) and laser surgical vision solutions for the treatment of Glaucoma.
Once diagnosed with glaucoma, one of our Colorado eye doctors will schedule you to be seen in the office for multiple times in addition to your comprehensive eye examination to monitor the progression of your glaucoma. Glaucoma treatment and regular monitoring is imperative to prevent further vision loss.
Vision Care Specialists is the most experienced practice in the Rocky Mountain Region. Our Colorado eye doctors and exceptional staff provide you with the widest array of current options for optimizing your vision.
Call today at 303-991-9600 or request an appointment online