Glaucoma: The Silent Disease

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve. This is a serious eye condition that shows no early warning signs or symptoms. Typically, intraocular pressure (IOP), the pressure in the eye, is the usual cause of glaucoma. With that being said, there are other causes that can contribute to the continued damage of the optic nerve.

A patient with early stages of glaucoma will not notice any difference with their vision, which is why initial vision loss is not noticed. As the condition worsens, blind spots can develop in a patient’s peripheral vision. This is the stage that glaucoma is typically noticed and found within the patient. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to complete blindness.


Risk Factors of Glaucoma:

  • Age
  • Intraocular Pressure (IOP)
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African- or Spanish-American ancestry
  • Prior eye injury
  • Less central corneal thickness
  • Farsightedness or nearsightedness
  • Systemic health problems such as steroid medication, migraines or poor circulation

Types of Glaucoma

There are two types of glaucoma – Open-Angle Glaucoma and Narrow-Angle Glaucoma

Open-Angle Glaucoma – this form of glaucoma displays no signs or symptoms within the eye. Most patients that have open-angle glaucoma experience no symptoms and do not notice any changes in their vision. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases. With open-angle glaucoma, the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time. This in time causes an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve.

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma – Apart from open-angle glaucoma, this form of glaucoma can occur suddenly, when the iris is pushed forward. This movement can cause internal eye structures to be blocked. When internal eye structures are blocked in this way, your eye’s internal pressure (intraocular pressure or IOP) may spike and possibly damage the optic nerve that transmits images from the eye to the brain. Symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma include eye pain, headaches, halos around lights, dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea and vomiting.


Treatments for Glaucoma


There are several different treatment options available to help manage glaucoma. The most common treatments include laser treatment, surgery, and medications. Treatment will not be able to restore any vision that has been lost, but the treatments provided at Wellish Vision Institue can help maintain the vision you do have left. Your Wellish Vision doctors will help diagnose you if needed or take preventative steps towards healthy eyes.

While it does seem scary, glaucoma can be managed with an early diagnosis. Once a treatment plan is developed, patients can enjoy without their eye health negatively impacting their daily life.


Call us today to schedule a preventative appointment for glaucoma at 702-733-2020!