Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 4.5 million people worldwide* are blind due to glaucoma. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, and the eye professionals at Nevada Eye Physicians — with locations in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Henderson, Pahrump, and Boulder City, NV — not only want you to know the risks of glaucoma, but also what the best glaucoma treatment is for you.
What causes glaucoma?
Before deciding on the right treatment for glaucoma, it is important to understand what it is and the symptoms. In most cases, glaucoma is genetic, but other factors like diabetes and certain eye conditions can play an integral role in the development of excessive fluid pressure on the optic nerve in the eye. The fluid is known as aqueous humor, but there is nothing funny about the loss of vision it can cause if left untreated.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
The first thing the doctors at Nevada Eye Physicians recommend to slow down the progression of glaucoma is to learn how to quickly spot any emerging symptoms. The ultimate challenge is that during the early stages of glaucoma, there may be few or no symptoms at all.
As glaucoma develops, however, you should be aware of the symptomatic basics. There are two common types of glaucoma: primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG). Both showcase similar symptoms in their advancement, but POAG develops more slowly with symptoms that often go unnoticed. ACG symptoms are usually more pronounced and obvious. It is important to note that the majority of U.S. glaucoma cases are diagnosed as POAG, and thus can only be detected (and treated) once significant vision problems occur due to its slower and more elusive development. Unfortunately, that usually means that by the time glaucoma is detected, significant and irreversible vision loss may have already occurred.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay alert. Ordinary symptoms of glaucoma can seem like casual vision annoyances you may attribute to aging, but if they go undetected, they will cause more problems as you get older. Some common glaucoma symptoms to watch out for include increased blurry vision, decreased peripheral sight, seeing rainbow-colored circles or hazy halos around bright lights, extreme eye or head pain, or continuous redness in your eyes. More extreme symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, or frequent bouts of sudden vision loss. If any of these serious indicators occur, please contact Nevada Eye Physicians immediately.
What are the treatments for glaucoma?
While glaucoma currently has no cure, it can be successfully diagnosed and treated with a dilated eye exam from Nevada Eye Physicians. In most cases, you can continue to live a relatively normal life if the symptoms are addressed as soon as you and your doctor detect them. However, it is critical that you call attention to them as soon as they occur, so the appropriate treatment can be implemented.
Don’t let glaucoma impact your quality of life. If the symptoms persist, there are a wide range of therapies and procedures to help you live comfortably with glaucoma. Some common glaucoma treatments include:
- Medicated eye drops to ease any pain and cloudiness
- A prescription regimen to reduce pressure or improve fluid drainage
- Glaucoma surgery to aid in the quicker escape of fluid buildup
- Laser procedures for more focused precision when relieving tension on the anterior chamber (where the problematic fluid exits the eye)
You can discuss the best course of action with your Nevada Eye Physicians associate at your next appointment.
Aftercare plays a critical role in your glaucoma treatment
As we celebrate National Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, we strongly recommend that you keep a watchful eye on any potential glaucoma symptoms all year-round and even after any surgical procedures, as problems can resurface. The best thing you can do to combat any lasting vision problems associated with glaucoma is to keep your regularly scheduled appointments with your eye doctor and follow the glaucoma treatment plan as prescribed. This includes routine maintenance and ongoing care, as well as your focused attention at home.
During your visit to Nevada Eye Physicians, with locations in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Henderson, Pahrump, and Boulder City, NV, your vision expert will address any emerging symptoms and develop the right plan of care based on your glaucoma progress and your own individual needs. It’s important to be aware, every day of every month, of any potential glaucoma problems as they surface. Contact Nevada Eye Physicians today to schedule your next exam.