Glaucoma Treatment in Orlando
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can steal sight without warning or symptoms. Over 3 Million Americans have it, and less than half know. That’s what makes it so dangerous and what makes eye exams so important. Just like routine screening is recommended for breast cancer and colon cancer as people get older, eye exams are important to catch any potential early signs of glaucoma.
In the normal anatomy of the eye, fluid is produced in the ciliary body and then travels in front of the lens, through the pupil and into the drainage area of the eye, the angle. This delicate balance between fluid production and drainage is what gives us our intraocular pressure (IOP). Too much fluid production or too little drainage causes the eye to become like an inflated balloon. Unlike a balloon, however, the eye cannot stretch and grow in size (unless it is a child’s eye) and so the pressure goes up.
2 Major Types of Glaucoma
The two main types of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Typically, an increase in IOP can cause damage to the optic nerve, which can cause peripheral and central vision loss, if left unchecked. This can even happen despite a normal IOP and is called normal tension glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma refers to any case in which another disease causes or contributes to increased eye pressure, resulting in optic nerve damage and vision loss.
The workup for glaucoma, in addition to a normal eye exam, includes special attention to the peripheral vision, IOP, thickness of the cornea, anatomy of the drainage angle, and imaging of the optic nerve. The IOP, optic nerve and visual field testing are especially important over time to see if damage is occurring and to assess whether the IOP is being controlled well enough.