What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a common eye issue. But the knowledge that many people suffer doesn’t make it any less concerning if you’ve been diagnosed. The key to managing the condition is to partner with a glaucoma surgeon/specialist who provides both maintenance of the condition and advanced treatment options as the disease progresses.

The following provides an overview of the important points to understand about glaucoma and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. 

What is Glaucoma? Causes, Types, and Symptoms

  • What is glaucoma? The causes
  • What is glaucoma? The different types
  • What is glaucoma? Common symptoms

What is glaucoma? The causes

Although the condition can develop for several reasons, the main issue is a build-up of pressure. If the fluid within the eye is unable to drain effectively then internal pressure increases, causing damage to the nerve that connects the eye to the brain—the optic nerve.

Certain things can predispose individuals to a greater likelihood of developing glaucoma. These include:

  • Age: The risk increases as you age. It’s most commonly seen in people over  60.
  • Family history: if you have a direct relative with the condition (parent or sibling) then your risk factor is increased.
  • Ethnicity: Those of Asian, Caribbean, and African origin are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

What is glaucoma? The different types

The most common type of the disease is known as primary open angle glaucoma. It’s a slow-developing condition (over many years) and occurs as the natural drainage channels within the eye become blocked. This results in increased pressure within the eye.

There are other, less common, forms of the condition. 

  • Childhood glaucoma: Also known as congenital glaucoma, it’s caused by an abnormality within the eye. It’s very rare and usually occurs in the very young, formative years.
  • Acute angle closure glaucoma: Caused when the eye’s natural drainage suddenly becomes blocked. This causes the pressure to rise very quickly.
  • Secondary glaucoma: This is caused by another, underlying, condition of the eye, such as inflammation.

What is glaucoma? Common symptoms

In most cases, the disease develops slowly over many years, with noticeable symptoms only appearing at later stages. Because of this, most are picked up during routine eye exams before the person is even aware that there’s a problem.

However, when symptoms do become apparent they usually affect both eyes (although they might be more severe on one side). These include: 

  • Seeing colored circles (like a rainbow) around bright lights
  • Blurred vision

In the rare cases of sudden-onset (acute angle closure glaucoma) symptoms can come on suddenly, such as:

  • Redness of the eye/s
  • Eye pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing rings around lights

The Importance of Having a Great Glaucoma Surgeon/Eye Doctor 

Left untreated, glaucoma can cause a complete loss of vision. The typically slow, asymptomatic onset makes it vital that you have regular eye exams. Early diagnosis is the key to reducing the speed at which the condition progresses, and your eye doctor will work in conjunction with your medical doctor to do this.

Initial treatments might include eye drops, but there are also various dropless glaucoma treatments if drops aren’t suitable or if they fail to have an effect. That’s when having an ophthalmologist who’s also a glaucoma surgeon offering the very latest treatments is hugely advantageous. You’ll have already built up a trusted relationship with him or her, and they can advise and carry out more advanced techniques (such as laser or surgery) to treat the condition.

Brent Bellotte MD.: A leading USA Glaucoma Surgeon

The West Boca Eye Center is a cutting-edge ophthalmology clinic in Boca Raton, FL, led by one of the world’s best eye clinicians—Brent Bellotte MD., a provider renowned not only for his expertise but also his natural ability to put patients at their ease. Recognized for his skills as a glaucoma surgeon, along with carrying out the latest cataract and laser vision surgery treatments, Bellotte’s West Boca Eye Center is the ultimate facility that encompasses every aspect of eye health. 

Whether you’re searching for a glaucoma surgeon or a leading ophthalmologist to treat other disorders of the eye, visiting https://westbocaeyecenter.com and arranging a face-to-face appointment is the ultimate step to ensuring your vision remains at its very best, both now and in the future.