What is a Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which is the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. Fluid pressure builds up and pushes against the optic nerve. This damage causes gradual visual changes and then a loss of vision.

Are there symptoms?

Chronic open angle glaucoma usually is asympotomatic. Early, gradual loss of vision may not be noticeable to the patient. When severe damage of the optic nerve has occurred, the patient may become aware of difficulty with peripheral vision.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma (narrow angle), which results in a rapid rise in pressure, may cause blurred vision, severe eye pain, headache, red eye, and halos around lights, nausea and vomiting. This is a medical eye emergency.

How often should I be examined for Glaucoma?

Doctors recommend a glaucoma check as a part of regular examinations for children, teenagers, and adults. You should have an especially thorough glaucoma check around the age of 35. Another check up is recommended at age 40 and then every two or three years after.

Is there a cure and treatment?

There is no cure for glaucoma but it can be controlled. Continual observation and treatment can control the intraocular pressure, which protects the optic never and prevents vision loss. Eye drops, laser surgery, and microsurgery are successful in controlling the eye pressure.