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Individuals with glaucoma have a progressive disease linked to a loss of sight. Patients who visit our eye doctor at The Vision Place in San Antonio undergo special screenings for this disorder. When there is a positive diagnosis, our optometry practice creates a customized treatment plan with regular monitoring.
Excessive fluid pressure within the eye that affects the optic nerve causes this disorder. Ocular pressure builds when aqueous humor in the front of the eyes fails to circulate correctly. The disease has a genetic link in some patients. Among other potential causes are a chemical or a forced injury, infection, blocked blood vessels, and specific inflammatory conditions. Although rare, surgery unrelated to the disorder could trigger it.
In most patients, the disease occurs in both eyes. However, it could be worse in one. Saving as much of an individual’s sight as possible is the goal of our optometrist.
There are two main types of this ocular disease. By far the most common is the open-angle type. The other is angle-closure glaucoma. The difference between them lies in the reason for improper fluid drainage.
A majority of patients who develop this condition are more than 40 years old, although it appears in some when they are infants. Compared to other groups, those who are African-American face an above-average risk and usually experience an earlier onset and a greater loss of sight. Irish, Inuit, Hispanic, Scandinavian, Russian, or Japanese ethnicity also poses an elevated risk. Other risk factors include:
Many of the patients we treat show no symptoms of this disease when our doctor of optometry diagnoses it. Unfortunately, symptoms often appear only when the disorder has significantly progressed. The first sign is usually difficulty seeing peripherally.
When ocular pressure climbs to the severe range, symptoms such as sudden pain, headache and blurriness might develop. Among emergency symptoms are ocular pain, redness, perceiving halos around lights, nausea and vomiting, and eyes that appear hazy.
The key to keeping glaucoma under control is a combination of early disease detection, getting prompt treatment, and undergoing regular monitoring by our optometry practice. After conducting a comprehensive exam with specific tests, your doctor treats this disorder with drops, medication, and corrective glasses. Conventional or laser surgery to reduce pressure is the most appropriate treatment for some patients.
We can also recommend assistive devices to help patients see better. Among them are magnifiers, colored lenses, and computer text enlargers.
Since there is no cure for this condition, managing it is crucial. Making sure the pressure in a patient’s eyes stays under control can slow and sometimes halt damage to the optic nerve and continuing vision loss. Optometrists often focus on lowering this pressure to the number least likely to create additional damage to the optic nerve. This target pressure is actually a numerical range that differs for each individual.
Getting an exam on a regular basis is the most important way to help protect yourself from eye diseases that can steal your sight. The goal of our optometrist, Dr. Sandra Palomino, and our optometric staff is keeping each patient comfortable and well informed. We are a full-service, state-of-the-art San Antonio practice that provides care ranging from emergency treatment to dispensing glasses and contact lenses and providing pre- and post-surgery care. Call us at The Vision Place today at 210-764-1113 to schedule an appointment.
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