Glaucoma is one of the most common ocular disorders. It results from an increased pressure inside the eye, which can cause damage to the nerve tissue within the eye. As the nerve tissue is damaged, blind spots begin to develop. These blind spots are not noticed until they enlarge and coalesce. By this time, most of the nerve tissue is lost and cannot be recovered.
Pressure is not the only indicator of glaucoma, as high pressure does not always lead to glaucoma and glaucoma can develop in spite of normal eye pressure. Many other factors are involved, but pressure is the one we can control. Anyone can develop glaucoma, although it is most common in people over 40.
There is no way to completely prevent glaucoma, but early diagnosis and treatment can help control the condition and limit its effects. Often times medication or surgery can help reduce the damage, but glaucoma cannot be reversed. For this reason, at Sonoran Desert Eye Center we regularly test for glaucoma and recommend frequent eye exams. Factors such as age, race, family history, and previous medical conditions can all contribute to developing glaucoma.
At Sonoran Desert Eye Center, we use tonometry to measure the pressure inside your eye and pachymetry to measure corneal thickness. We also measure your nerve tissue health using an optical coherence tomographer and field of vision using a Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer.
Treatment for glaucoma usually starts with prescription eye drops that help lower the pressure in your eyes. If drops are not sufficient, there are surgeries that can be performed. Because treatment is ongoing, it is important that your optometrist detect any changes in your eye health. Regular eye exams are essential to managing glaucoma, which is a lifelong issue.