In today’s blog post, the team at Laser Eye Center of Miami wants to make you aware of one of the most insidious threats to your vision and ocular health: a disease called glaucoma. Glaucoma has been described as the “silent thief of sight,” because half of all people with glaucoma do not know they have it until it has progressed to the advanced stages and caused vision loss. Unfortunately, glaucoma-induced vision loss cannot be recovered.
Although our team cannot protect you from getting glaucoma, we hope that by raising your awareness, you can take steps to properly manage your risk. If you do develop glaucoma, we will do our best to help you avoid losing vision to the disease.
Glaucoma at a Glance
Glaucoma is linked to an increase in intraocular pressure, or pressure inside the eye. Normally there is a delicate balance between fluid produced inside the eye and fluid that drains from the eye.
Due to a variety of factors, the normal flow of fluid from the eye can be interrupted, causing a slow or rapid elevation in intraocular pressure.
Elevated intraocular pressure eventually damages the optic nerve, which transmits visual information from the eye to the brain. As the nerve damage increases, it can cause peripheral and central vision to deteriorate. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to significant vision loss and blindness.
With most cases of glaucoma, there are no warning signs. As the disease advances, blind spots can appear in peripheral (side) vision. Very serious cases of glaucoma can cause the following symptoms:
- Severe eye pain
- Blurry vision
- Rainbows or halos
Know Your Risk of Glaucoma
You may be at an increased risk of glaucoma if you have any of the following risk factors:
- Over the age of 60
- Of African American descent
- Family history of glaucoma
- High blood pressure
If you are at a higher risk of getting glaucoma, you should have routine eye exams once a year to check for signs of the disease and measure your intraocular pressure.
Doctors have more options than ever to manage glaucoma and prevent vision loss to the disease. Options include eyedrops, laser treatments and surgery to improve the way fluid drains from the eye and regulates intraocular pressure.
Another exciting area of glaucoma treatment and management is MIGS, a group of minimally invasive surgeries to control the pressure inside the eye.
Contact Laser Eye Center of Miami
If you have any questions about glaucoma detection or treatment, Laser Eye Center of Miami can help. Please call (305) 443-4733 or email us today.