Frequently Asked Questions About Glaucoma
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma usually involves higher-than-normal intraocular pressure (IOP), which can damage the optic nerve if it allowed being untreated. It occasionally occurs without high pressure in the eye, and this form is believed to be related to poor blood flow. Most forms of glaucoma have no symptoms until vision loss occurs.
Symptoms of glaucoma, when they do occur, are usually painless and involve a reduction in the visual field. Vision loss typically occurs in the periphery first and moves inward until the patient has tunnel vision (they can only see straight ahead). If not treated, this is likely to progress to blindness. Glaucoma risk increases with age, and the condition affects more African Americans and Latinos than Caucasians.
Can My Optometrist Treat Glaucoma? How?
Treatment of glaucoma is essential in order to prevent vision loss. Our optometrist will typically start treatment with medicated eye drops. Glaucoma that is severe or does not respond to these eye drops may require laser treatments or even surgery. For the most common form of the condition, open-angle glaucoma, the goal of all treatment is to reduce the intraocular pressure.
The most common reason that glaucoma treatment does not work is that patients stop taking their eye drops because they have no symptoms. It is essential that patients never stop using the eye drops our optometrist prescribed without talking to their doctor. Untreated glaucoma, even though it initially has no symptoms, can lead to blindness.
How Can Seeking Care From an Optometrist Treat Glaucoma?
Because glaucoma typically has no symptoms until vision loss occurs, seeking care from an optometrist is essential. Our doctors of optometry can diagnose glaucoma and treat it before symptoms occur, which can prevent vision loss. Regular care from an optometrist can also ensure that any worsening of the condition does not go unnoticed.
Dealing with a condition that is silent until it has already caused permanent damage is tricky. That is why we encourage all Lubbock, TX, residents to be screened regularly for glaucoma and participate in regular eye exams. While treatment can stop the progression of the condition after symptoms occur, it is best to be treated while there are still no symptoms.
How Can I Call to Schedule an Appointment with Ginter Eyecare Center to be Diagnosed with Glaucoma and Set up Treatment?
Ginter Eyecare Center is conveniently located in Lubbock, TX, and can be reached at 806-798-8820. If you are concerned that you might have some of the symptoms of glaucoma, call us right away and we will schedule an appointment. Prompt treatment is essential to preserve your remaining vision.
If you do not have symptoms but it has been a while since you last saw a doctor of optometry, call to set up an appointment, too. Glaucoma is typically symptom-free until vision loss occurs, so regular screening is the best way to avoid permanent damage to the optic nerve. Our doctors of optometry will test your eyes for high pressure and look for other signs of the condition as well as assessing your overall eye health.