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Glaucoma

Take a Proactive Approach to Prevent Vision Loss

Glaucoma is a condition that develops when the optic nerve sustains gradual, cumulative damage. Some patients have a higher chance of developing glaucoma, including patients:

  • With a family history of glaucoma
  • Who are over the age of 40
  • Who have myopic or hyperopic eyes
  • Have thin corneas or decreased corneal hysteresis
  • Have racial predisposition (African-Americans, Caribbeaners, Latinos)
  • Have diabetes
  • Have high or low blood pressure
  • Experience migraines

Medical Optometry America can help prevent permanent vision loss through early detection and management. By scheduling a regular, comprehensive eye physical with your MOA practice, you can ensure your visual health for years to come.

Main Types of Glaucoma

There is a chamber between your iris and your lens called the anterior chamber. Through this chamber flows a fluid called the aqueous humor. If the aqueous humor does not drain properly from the anterior chamber, your intraocular pressure builds and builds, which can eventually damage your optic nerve.

In open-angle glaucoma, there is enough space between the iris and the lens to allow drainage, but the drainage ducts are not allowing the aqueous humor to flow correctly.

In cases of angle-closure glaucoma, the system of drainage ducts functions properly. However, the space between the iris and the lens suddenly closes, causing the anterior chamber to quickly fill with aqueous humor. This typically occurs in individuals who are hyperopic (eyes that tend to be shorter in length) which predisposes them to having a narrow space or “angle” between the iris and lens to begin with.

This type of glaucoma comes on very quickly and is often accompanied by nausea, significant eye pain, excessive tears, and a headache. Angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency. If you experience these symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.

Glaucoma is often associated with high intraocular pressure; however, that is not always the case. Normal-tension glaucoma occurs when the drainage ducts work correctly, and the space between the iris and the lens is wide enough to facilitate outflow, but still, the optic nerve sustains damage. It is frequently associated with vascular abnormalities such as low blood pressure, Raynaud’s syndrome and migraine headaches.

How is Glaucoma Detected?

MOA uses advanced diagnostic testing to detect eye diseases such as glaucoma, often long before you notice vision loss.

While testing intraocular pressure is an essential element in glaucoma assessment it is only a small part of a comprehensive glaucoma examination. Testing such as Ocular Computed Tomography, Quantified Visual Field’s, clinical assessment of the optic nerve with stereo imaging and corneal thickness and hysteresis all play a vital role in the eventual diagnosis and management of this complex disease.

MOA clinicians have the latest technologies and clinical expertise to provide comprehensive glaucoma eye care that leads to early diagnosis and treatment, decreasing the risk of vision loss.

“The old saying that glaucoma is the silent thief of sight does not have to ring true anymore. Through technology and modern techniques, optometrists can detect glaucoma earlier than ever before, preserving more of your vision. However, glaucoma does not always exhibit symptoms, especially in its early stages, so even if you have perfect vision, trouble may be afoot. ”

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is often called “the silent thief of sight” for the way it can develop slowly and without symptoms. By the time patients realize their vision is changing, they have often already lost a significant portion of their eyesight. That is why it is so important to have your eyes examined by an MOA doctor frequently.

Unlike most types of glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma does usually produce noticeable and violent symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Severe eye pain
  • Excessive tears
  • Glare or halos around lights
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

MOA Best Practice Treatments

  • On-going monitoring of glaucoma risk factors
  • Regularly scheduled assessments and testing
  • Pressure lowering eye drops
  • Surgical referral SLT/MIGS
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