Glaucoma Information from Our Lubbock, TX Optometrists at Ginter Eyecare Center
Glaucoma is an eye disease that becomes more common as you age. With proper eye care, including annual optometry exams from our Lubbock eye doctors at Ginter Eyecare Center, we can diagnose the eye disease early, even before you notice any obvious symptoms. Untreated, glaucoma may lead to vision loss. When you allow us to care for your eyes with a yearly exam, this offers the best chance for successful glaucoma treatment to preserve your eyesight for a lifetime.
Glaucoma Symptoms and Types Explained by Our Eye Doctors
Also called primary open-angle glaucoma or POAG, this most-common form of the disease is caused by increasing fluid pressure in the eye (increased IOP or intraocular pressure) due to drainage canals that become gradually narrowed and blocked. Open-angle glaucoma produces no symptoms initially. Only our Lubbock eye doctors can detect the disease if its early, the most treatable stage. By the time you notice the main symptom, peripheral vision loss, you will have had the condition for years and may be at an advanced stage of optic nerve damage.
This rare type (also called angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma) does have sudden, intense symptoms. It comes about due to blocked drainage canals within the eye, causing a quick, large eye pressure buildup.
If you notice these symptoms, get immediate, emergency medical attention to prevent permanent vision loss:
- Blurred or foggy vision
- Serious headache
- Severe eye pain
- Sensation of flashing lights or multicolored rings around lights
- Feeling nauseous and/or vomiting
- Sudden vision loss
Other Glaucoma Types
- Pseudoexfoliative glaucoma: The body produces a light gray, relatively thick, protein on the eye’s lens that can block eye drainage.
- Pigmentary glaucoma: Particles of eye pigment (mostly in men) break free and block eye drainage.
- Neovascular glaucoma: Retinal vein blockage due to systemic disease. like diabetes.
Glaucoma Treatment for the Surrounding Communities of Lubbock, Wolfforth, and Woodrow, TX
Open-angle glaucoma treatment may include eye drops or oral medication, including beta blocker medication or alpha agonists, which can lower blood pressure and decrease intraocular pressure to treat ocular hypertension. Narrow-angle glaucoma treatment requires emergency treatment, possibly eye surgery, to relieve pressure within the eye.
Glaucoma Risk Factors
You should be tested beginning at age of 40. Testing may begin earlier, if risk factors are present.
Risk of glaucoma may increase if you have:
- Family history
- History of corticosteroids (eye drops or injections) use
- Past eye injury
- Severe near- or far-sightedness (myopia or hyperopia)
- African-American heritage
- Asian descent (may be susceptible to glaucoma due to smaller eye size, with normal eye pressure)
- Intraocular hypertension (increased pressure within the eye, without blocked eye drainage; this is considered "suspected glaucoma" and may lead to glaucoma if blockage/narrowing of drainage canal occurs)
- Rarely, babies may be born with congenital glaucoma
- Incidence of glaucoma increases again at age 60 and older
Glaucoma Testing at Ginter Eyecare Center, Our Lubbock Optometry Office
Our Lubbock optometrists use the latest technology and specialized optometry equipment to examine your eyes for signs of eye disease.
Glaucoma exams may include:
- Air-puff test (non-contact tonometry): This tests for IOP (intraocular pressure) increases, an early sign of glaucoma. Our eye doctors will release a painless puff of air into your eye. This provides a basic idea of your eye pressure.
- Visual field testing: To detect early loss of peripheral vision before you may notice it. With one eye patched, you click a handheld clicker when you see flashes of light on a targeted area.
- Ophthalmoscope: Lighted, magnifying instrument that allows viewing of the interior eye and optical nerve, after pupil dilation with drops.
- Slit-lamp: Views the interior eye using an upright, desktop microscope and light.
- Gonioscopy: Our optometrists may also use a gonioscope, which allows a close-up view to determine if the eye’s drainage angle is blocked or nearly closed, indicating glaucoma.
- Pachymetry: Measures corneal thickness using an ultrasonic device (the pachymeter), A thin cornea can be a sign of glaucoma.
Get an Eye Exam for Glaucoma and Treatment from Our Optometrists
As Lubbock optometrists, we're dedicated to the health of your eyes, but we can't do our jobs to protect your vision if you don't see us regularly. If you are overdue for an eye exam, make an appointment today. Our complete eye health exams and vision screenings give you the opportunity for vision correction and continued eye health, with early glaucoma diagnosis.
At Ginter Eyecare Center we provide comprehensive eye care for Lubbock, Wolfforth, Woodrow and surrounding areas. Call us today at 806-798-8820.