What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition in which damage to your optic nerve results in vision loss. Most often, the damage is caused by elevated pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure) caused by inadequate drainage of fluid from the inside of the eye. As the pressure inside the eye rises, it can eventually damage the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting information to the brain.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

The most common form of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma and it has no symptoms. The first awareness of it you may have may be when you notice blind spots in your peripheral (side) vision. At that point, vision loss is irreversible, but your remaining vision can be protected.

Acute or angle-closure glaucoma symptoms include:

  • Halos around lights
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Vision loss – May be partial or total, and affect either or both eyes

Acute glaucoma requires immediate attention to avoid permanent vision loss.

Don’t wait for glaucoma symptoms to appear; by that point, it may be too late. Instead, make sure you are getting your eye exams as often as is recommended for someone with your eye health, age and glaucoma risk factors.

Who is at risk for glaucoma?

Glaucoma seems to have a genetic component, so if your parents had it, you may be at an elevated risk. Your risk of glaucoma also increases with age. Other glaucoma risk factors include:

  • African-American ancestry
  • Eye injury
  • Steroid medication use
  • Nearsightedness
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes, poor blood circulation or other health problems affecting the whole body

These risk factors can influence the recommended frequency of eye exams for glaucoma screening.

Is there a cure for glaucoma?

Unfortunately, glaucoma cannot be cured. It is a lifetime condition, and vision loss due to glaucoma is not recoverable. But there are many glaucoma treatments that can help you manage the condition to prevent future vision loss.

What glaucoma treatments are available?

Glaucoma treatment typically begins with medicating eye drops that help reduce your intraocular pressure. There are many different types of drops so you can likely find one that has minimal side effects and no negative interactions with other medication you may take.

If eye drops do not lower your eye pressure sufficiently, or if you are unhappy with the amount of eye drops you are taking, surgery can be used to improve the outflow of fluid from your eye. Most often, this is laser surgery, but other traditional types of surgery are also available.

Why should I choose California Retina Associates for my glaucoma treatment?

Almost any eye doctor will offer to help you with early stage glaucoma. Most will refer you to another practice when your glaucoma becomes advanced. At California Retina Associates, we are capable of handling glaucoma treatment at all stages. This means we can offer you continuous quality care as your glaucoma develops and requires more significant intervention.

Contact Our San Diego Glaucoma Specialists

To learn more about glaucoma treatment in San Diego and the surrounding locations, please contact California Retina Associates today for an appointment.