Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a term that refers to a group of diseases that impact the eye’s optic nerve, resulting in serious damage, including vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma usually develops when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, resulting in increased pressure and damage to the optic nerve, in serious cases. This common eye disease is treatable, as long as it is caught early on. That being said, it is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60. This is why it is so important to schedule an appointment with an Optometrist at least once a year. By making an effort to visit a vision clinic on a regular basis, we will be able to spot any early signs of glaucoma.
While glaucoma can occur at any age, the majority of people who develop glaucoma are older adults. Unfortunately, there are no warning signs of glaucoma. Glaucoma typically develops slowly over time, which means you may not notice any change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage.

Types of Glaucoma

There are two main types of glaucoma to be aware of: primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Because vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be recovered, it is imperative you come in for a comprehensive eye exam. If you develop glaucoma, you will more than likely require treatment for the remainder of your life.

Let’s now look at the two major types of glaucoma:

  • Primary open-angle glaucoma - This is the most common type of glaucoma and happens over time. With this type, the eye cannot drain fluid as it should, resulting in a buildup of pressure that damages the optic nerve over time.
  • Angle-closure glaucoma - Also referred to as “closed-angle glaucoma” or “narrow-angle glaucoma”, this is the lesser common of the two and occurs when the iris is too close to the drainage angle of the eye, which can result in blockage. When the drainage angle is completely blocked, it is considered an acute attack and requires emergency attention. Unlike primary open-angle glaucoma, there are several signs that you are experiencing an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack:
    • Vision becomes suddenly blurry
    • Severe eye pain
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • You see rainbow-colored rings or halos around lights
Both types of glaucoma can develop over time and will require medical attention. To learn more about this serious eye condition, or how we treat it here at First Eye Care McKinney, please contact us today and schedule an appointment.