New Smyrna Beach (386) 427-4143

Diagnosing and Treating Glaucoma

Glaucoma can severely affect your vision, but early treatment can help protect it. Getting regular dilated eye exams is the first line of defense for treating serious eye illnesses such as glaucoma. That way, your eye doctor can catch diseases while they can still be treated, ultimately saving your eyesight.



Glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss, and it has no cure. The best way to slow or prevent eye damage from glaucoma is to diagnose and treat it early.




What Is Glaucoma?




Glaucoma is an eye illness that injures your eye’s optic nerve.it is attributed to a combination of risk factors including family history, elevated intraocular blood pressure, and low blood pressure.



The optic nerve has 1.2 million nerves that send signals to your brain,  enabling the brain to interpret what your eyes see. As the nerves die due to the illness, you will have blind spots in your eyesight. If glaucoma progresses and destroys all your nerves, you will lose your vision completely.




Diagnosing Glaucoma




To diagnose glaucoma, you will need to have a complete eye exam. Your eye doctor will examine your eye to confirm that risk factors for the development of glaucoma are not present. During the eye checkup, your eye doctor will:

 

  • Test your side or peripheral vision.
     

  • Measure the pressure inside your eye.
     

  • Inspect your optic nerve for injury.
     



If your doctor suspects you may be at risk for the development of glaucoma they can perform additional tests:

 

  • Examine the fluid drainage system of your eyes.
     

  • Use a computer test to evaluate your peripheral vision.
     

  • Measure your cornea’s thickness.
     

  • Take a digital picture or scan of your optic nerve.
     



If your doctor does not find any signs of glaucoma, the results from the test will help him or her detect changes at your next eye checkup. Your doctor will tell you how often you should go for an eye exam. But if your eye doctor catches signs of glaucoma, he or she will suggest suitable treatment options.




Treating Glaucoma




Eye damage from glaucoma is lasting and cannot be cured, but medications and surgery can help stop more damage. Here are treatment options your doctor can use to reduce the pressure inside your eye.



Eye Drops – Treating glaucoma usually starts with prescription eye drops. The eye drops can help lower the pressure in your eye by reducing the amount of fluid your eye makes or improving how fluid flows out from your eye.



Laser Surgery – Two types of laser procedures help treat glaucoma: trabeculoplasty for people with open-angle glaucoma and iridotomy for people with angle-closure glaucoma. They both help drain fluid from your eye, and your doctor will help you know the most suitable procedure for your situation.



Filtering Surgical Procedure – In a surgery called trabeculectomy, your ophthalmologist will create an opening in your eye to drain the fluid and ease pressure inside your eye.





To know more about diagnosing and treating glaucoma, visit Volusia Eye Associates at our office in New Smyrna Beach or Edgewater, Florida. You can call (386) 427-4143 or (386) 230-0300 today to schedule an appointment.