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Information about Glaucoma from Your Greer Eye Doctor

Glaucoma is an eye disease affecting the optic nerve. Without the optic nerve receiving and transmitting light-generated impulses to your brain, you would not be able to see. If your optic nerve starts suffering progressive damage due to glaucoma, you may notice a subtle diminishing of your peripheral (side) vision. In many cases, glaucoma does not cause noticeable symptoms until in an advanced stage. Your Greer eye doctor recommends adults over 35 receive annual glaucoma testing during their yearly eye examination.

senior patient glaucoma exam

What Causes Glaucoma?

When pressure inside the eye builds (intraocular pressure) and remains at an abnormally high level, it interferes with blood flow within the eye and to the optic nerve. Comprised of delicate fibers easily damaged by reduced blood flow or pressure, the optic nerve is highly susceptible to increased intraocular pressure. Excessive fluid accumulating in the eye or blocked outflow channels called the trabecular meshwork are the two main reasons for the development of glaucoma. To diagnose glaucoma, your Greer eye doctor used special ophthalmological tools to measure pressure in your eye. Early treatment is key to avoiding sight loss due to this particular eye disease.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Although anyone can suffer from glaucoma, some may be at risk for optic nerve damage than others. Risk factors include:

  • Being over 40 years old
  • Being nearsighted (myopic)
  • Having family members with glaucoma
  • Being diabetic (Type I and Type II)
  • Being African-American
  • Using steroids for eye disease treatment

People with hyperopia (farsightedness) are at risk for a less common form of glaucoma called angle-closure glaucoma involving overly narrow drainage ducts (angles) that do not allow fluid to drain normally. 

When to See Your Greer Eye Doctor--Symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a mostly asymptomatic eye disease until it progresses enough to impact the optic nerve. Rare symptoms include halos around sources of light or hazy vision, especially upon awakening in the morning. Since glaucoma does not produce symptoms until optic nerve damage has occurred, it is important for adults to visit their eye doctor in Greer every year for a comprehensive eye exam.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma ( a sudden and dramatic increase of intraocular pressure) will cause immediate symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, severe eye pain and blurry vision. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see their optometrist as soon as possible to prevent loss of vision.

Treatment for Glaucoma

Eye drops called beta-adrenergic agonists help decrease intraocular pressure by reducing fluid production. Prostanglandin analog eye drops make it easier for fluids to drain out of the eye. Another type of glaucoma treatment is adrenergic agonist eye drops that reduce eye fluid production and increase drainage. If your Greer eye doctor diagnoses you with an acute form of glaucoma, you may need to take oral or injectable osmotic agents to decrease intraocular pressure.

To schedule an appointment at Blue Ridge Vision, call 864-877-3031 today.

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