Glaucoma affects more than 3 million Americans. Although glaucoma can lead to vision loss, early detection allows you to safeguard your vision. At Maryland Eye Care Center in Silver Spring, Downtown Silver Spring, and Hyattsville, Maryland, the team of premier eye care experts provides glaucoma screening, testing, diagnosis, and treatment. Call the office or use the online appointment scheduler today.
Glaucoma refers to an eye disease that causes damage in the optic nerve that transmits messages from your eyes to your brain. With the damaged messaging, your vision can slowly decrease over time.
Glaucoma often develops so slowly that it's unnoticeable until you've already lost some of your vision.
There are several forms of glaucoma, each appearing differently.
Open-angle glaucoma affects at least 2.7 million of the 3 million Americans who have glaucoma. This type of glaucoma occurs when your eye fluid drainage doesn't function properly.
Poor drainage leads to increased intraocular pressure (IOP) and optic nerve damage. Open-angle glaucoma usually develops over many years, so it’s hard to notice symptoms until you experience partial vision loss. A decrease in peripheral vision is usually the first symptom.
Angle-closure glaucoma is a severe, sudden-onset form of glaucoma that results when the drainage angle between your eye's iris and cornea bulges out. This creates a narrowed or blocked drainage angle.
Angle-closure glaucoma causes a spike in IOP rather than a gradual rise. It can cause symptoms including eye pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, and vision loss.
Normal tension glaucoma is a rare type of the disease in which you have optic nerve damage but don't experience a corresponding IOP increase. The disease is otherwise similar to open-angle glaucoma.
During comprehensive eye exams at Maryland Eye Care Center, the team expertly screens for all forms of glaucoma by measuring your IOP, checking your optic nerve, assessing drainage angles, and measuring corneal thickness.
The earlier your diagnosis, the better you can manage your glaucoma and preserve your eyesight. The Maryland Eye Care Center team recommends glaucoma treatments according to the kind of glaucoma and the disease progression. The main approaches are:
Medication is usually the first-line glaucoma treatment. Most glaucoma medications are eye drops that improve fluid outflow, reduce fluid production, or both. This lowers your IOP and helps prevent further vision loss. There are also oral medications for glaucoma.
You may need surgery or a laser procedure if you have advanced glaucoma. Options include laser trabeculoplasty, which unclogs the eye drainage system, and filtering surgery, which creates a new drainage route in the eye. Drainage tubes are another option.
The Maryland Eye Care Center team can help you choose the right treatment to minimize glaucoma damage and maintain your eyesight. Call or use online scheduling for glaucoma screening, diagnosis, and treatment.