Come See Our Optometry Professionals in Clarksville If You Are at Risk for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition where the pressure in your eyes builds, reducing your ability to see clearly. If you have risk factors for glaucoma or are over 60, you need regular screenings to spot it in its early stages to prevent permanent vision loss or blindness. In fact, the leading cause of blindness for those over 60 years of age is glaucoma. At Sites Vision Clinic in Clarksville, TN, we're here to help you with diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing vision care.
Types and Causes of Glaucoma
There are two main classifications of glaucoma, with various types in each. All forms increase the pressure in the eyes, leading to optic nerve damage. And while the exact causes of glaucoma remain unknown, several risk factors increase your chances of getting a specific type.
The most common form of this condition is primary open-angle glaucoma. According to the National Eye Institute, 9 in 10 Americans with glaucoma have this form. For unknown reasons, the pressure inside your eyes builds, leading to a loss of vision. For many people, the initial vision loss goes ignored until it becomes severe.
Normal-tension glaucoma occurs when the pressure inside the eye does not exceed normal levels. However, people with this form still have optic nerve damage. Up to a third of people with open-angle glaucoma have normal tension.
Angle-closure glaucoma often happens suddenly and requires immediate medical care. The colored part of your eye stops fluid from draining normally, leading to intense pain in your eye, blurry vision, and nausea. If you don't get immediate care, blindness can occur within days. Some people, however, develop this form slowly and without symptoms, which is why regular eye exams are important.
A small percentage of babies can have increased eye pressure from birth, in a form called congenital glaucoma. Children usually have extreme sensitivity to light or cloudy eyes. With prompt surgery, this condition readily resolves without long-term vision damage.
Secondary glaucoma typically happens when another medical condition leads to more pressure in the eyes. Often, this happens from uncontrolled diabetes or high blood pressure.
Who Gets Glaucoma?
Some people have a higher risk of glaucoma than others. Things that increase your risk include the following:
- Age over 60 (or over 40 if you are an African American)
- Have a family history of the condition
- Have high blood pressure or diabetes
- Use corticosteroids
- Experienced an eye injury
Diagnosis and Treatment
A diagnosis of glaucoma occurs during a dilated eye test as part of a comprehensive optometry exam. During this test, our eye doctors will look at the health of your optic nerve. You may also undergo a test that measures the pressure in your eyes.
Once diagnosed, treatment includes prescription eye drops to prevent pressure buildup, laser treatment to reduce pressure, or eye surgery to drain fluids from your eyes.
Prioritize Ongoing Care for Glaucoma from Our Optometry Clinic in Clarksville
Regular comprehensive eye exams can identify glaucoma before it becomes severe. Make your appointment with us at Sites Vision Clinic in Clarksville, TN, by calling our office at 931-614-0028. If spotted early, you can get successful treatment for glaucoma that can prevent vision loss and blindness but only through regular eye exams and vision care.