Glaucoma is an eye disorder that can progress to vision loss if left unaddressed. Here’s what you should know about the condition so that you can protect your eye health for the long term. OptiExpress offers comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, a gallery of designer frames, and a one-hour onsite lab.
It is estimated that over three million Americans have some stage of glaucoma, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation. Unfortunately, only approximately half of the number of people with glaucoma have had a formal diagnosis, meaning that a startling number of people will experience partial or total vision loss due to lack of treatment.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an ocular condition that must be diagnosed by an eye care professional in its early stages, since initial symptoms are often unnoticeable. Over time, if left unaddressed, glaucoma will damage optic nerve fibers, leading to progressively worsening vision and, ultimately, vision loss. One of the reasons why glaucoma sufferers don’t recognize symptoms is due to the fact that the first signs appear as reductions in peripheral vision, and it often starts in a single eye.
There are different types of glaucoma, both of which can lead to vision loss, but each presents itself in different ways. Here are the two types of glaucoma:
- Open-angle Glaucoma: This form of glaucoma is the most commonly diagnosed, and it generally appears in adults over age 40, though it is occasionally seen in patients in their 30s. The condition involves a disorder of the apparatus that produces and drains fluid from the eyes’ interior chambers between the iris and cornea.
- Closed-angle Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma – also called narrow-angle glaucoma – occurs when fluid collects within the eye, resulting in a build-up of pressure behind the iris that causes a variety of symptoms, including pain, nausea, and vomiting. This is a potentially very serious condition, and should be addressed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately.
Fortunately, both open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma can be successfully treated, particularly when caught early. It’s important to have regular eye exams not only to check for vision abnormalities, but also eye and overall health concerns, too.
OptiExpress provides complete eye care services, including eye exams, to the South Florida community. If you have concerns about your eye health or believe you need corrective lenses, please schedule an appointment at our Cape Coral or Ft. Myers locations for an eye exam.
OptiExpress founder Dr. J. Michael Witherington has been one of Ft. Myers’s leading eye care specialists for more than two decades. To schedule an eye exam at our Ft. Myers or Cape Coral location, please visit our contact page.