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Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve of the eye. It is most often connected to increased pressure within the eye, but glaucoma can also occur when no unusual pressure exists. The condition can lead to blindness, so detection and early treatment are critical to preserving vision. There are 2 basic types of glaucoma, open angle and narrow-angle glaucoma Open-angle form is the most common. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Regular visits to your Columbia eye doctor can help to detect glaucoma in its early stages to reduce the risk of vision loss.
The risk of developing glaucoma increases if you are over 40, have poor vision or have diabetes. Those who take steroid medications are also at higher risk for developing glaucoma. Family history and genetics appear to be factors in glaucoma risk. African-Americans and those of Japanese, Russian, Irish, Scandinavian, Inuit or Hispanic backgrounds are all at higher risk for glaucoma. If you have had trauma to your eyes, the also increases.
In the early stages of glaucoma, there may be no symptoms at all. This is why glaucoma is known as a sneak thief of vision. Gradually, you may begin to detect loss of peripheral vision. When the disease progresses, the increased eye pressure can cause blurred vision, eye pain, headache and haloes around lights. Nausea and vomiting can occur. There may be redness in the eye or loss of vision. If you experience any of these symptoms, get medical help immediately. There is no cure for glaucoma. However, early treatment of glaucoma can delay the progress of the disease.
Glaucoma treatment includes special eye drops, laser surgery, and microsurgery. Several different laser procedures may be done on the eyes to reduce fluids or to open the fluid blockage. Microsurgery can be used to relieve pressure in the eyes to prevent damage to vision. In some cases, tubes must be inserted into the eyes to drain fluid. Prompt treatment is critical to preserving vision in those who have glaucoma.
When you make Andrew Stone Optometry you Columbia eye doctor, you can be assured of professional, individualized care for your eyes. Dr. Stone and the friendly staff are dedicated to providing superior care for their patients, with a range of services, including eye exams, eyeglass fitting, contact lens fitting, computer glasses, sports glasses Lasik pre- and post-surgical care and treatment of eye diseases. Contact Andrew Stone Optometry today at 573-227-4052 for an appointment to learn more about detection and treatment of eye diseases that can help protect your vision.
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