FAQs about Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a common progressive eye condition that damages the optic nerve. The damage most often occurs when there is abnormal pressure build-up in the eye. When the damage is extensive, glaucoma can lead to total vision loss.
It has been estimated that about 60 million people worldwide have open-angle glaucoma, and it will affect more than 80 million by 2021! Given that glaucoma is quickly stealing the vision of many people, Iconic Eyecare of Surrey, BC is here to answer questions you might have regarding this condition.
What causes glaucoma?
Glaucoma most often occurs when intraocular pressure rises above normal levels because of an obstruction or blockage within the eye's drainage system. The blockage may be caused by increased resistance to outflow through the trabecular meshwork due to aging, inflammation, injury, scarring, genetic factors, or other unknown reasons.
A patient's symptoms depend upon how much peripheral vision remains after the central defect appears. If the remaining area is large enough, patients often do not notice any change in their ability to see objects near them.
Notable glaucoma symptoms include:
- Red / bloodshot eyes
- Blurred images
- Sudden vision disturbances
- Seeing colored things' rings' in light
What are the treatment options for glaucoma?
The most common treatment for glaucoma is eye drops. These can be prescribed by your doctor and can also be bought over the counter. They contain chemicals that lower pressure inside the eyes.
Other glaucoma treatment options include:
Trabeculectomy: Our optometrist creates a small opening in your sclera to reduce eye pressure. This treatment prevents further damage to your optic nerve, preventing vision loss.
Laser surgery: Lasers are used to burn away part of the trabecular meshwork, so it no longer produces too much fluid. This procedure may not work on everyone with glaucoma, but if you have had previous unsuccessful treatments, this might be an option.
Are there any ways to help prevent glaucoma?
The good news is that you can prevent glaucoma from stealing your vision. Here are some tips:
Get regular eye exams: The earlier glaucoma is detected, the easier it is to treat. If you notice any changes in your vision or feel like something isn't right with your eyes, schedule an appointment for an eye exam.
Avoid smoking: Smoking has been linked to an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Smoking increases pressure inside the eyeball by about 10 mmHg. This means that smokers may need more medications than nonsmokers to control their intraocular pressures.
Eat healthy foods: Foods high in antioxidants such as blueberries, spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, oranges, apples, beans, peas, almonds, walnuts, salmon, tuna, yogurt, green tea, olive oil, red wine, dark chocolate, and coffee help reduce oxidative stress on cells within our bodies.
Regular exercise: Physical activities reduce stress levels and improve circulation. Both these factors contribute to keeping your eyes healthier.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Surrey, BC Optometrist
The surest way to prevent glaucoma is by scheduling regular appointments with an eye doctor. This way, if you do have glaucoma, it can be caught early. Schedule an appointment with Iconic Eyecare, today.