Glaucoma Diagnosis and Care in Boca Raton, FL

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a category of diseases that can deteriorate the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying visual data to the brain. If left untreated, glaucoma will often result in permanent vision loss and/or total blindness. It is nearly always caused by elevated intraocular pressure from built-up fluid. Glaucoma predominantly affects people over 60 years of age. At this point, approximately two million individuals in the U.S. have glaucoma, though many of them haven't been diagnosed. In its beginning stages, glaucoma often presents no symptoms, which is why it is referred to as the “silent thief" of vision. Even though there is no cure for the condition, it may be controlled through early diagnosis and the appropriate therapies.

Glaucoma is a primary reason why having comprehensive eye exams at least every other year is imperative to your overall eye health. At Clewner & Kelly Eye Center, we have the most up-to-date diagnostic technologies and are highly knowledgeable about the most advanced glaucoma management methods. If you are over 40 years of age, visit the glaucoma specialists in Boca Raton, FL, to set up your comprehensive exam and get ahead of managing your eye health.

What are the different Types of Glaucoma?

All types of glaucoma are due to the deterioration of the optic nerve. Almost always, this damage is the result of high internal eye pressure from fluid buildup. In normal eyes, the fluid required by the eye is allowed to flow back and forth through an amazing tissue, the trabecular meshwork, which sits between the iris and the cornea. For some patients, this flow can be blocked or much too slow, which causes built-up fluid. The most common types of glaucoma include:

  • Open-Angle Glaucoma: When fluid retention is occurring due to a malfunction within the trabecular meshwork.
  • Narrow- or Closed-Angle Glaucoma: When the buildup is the result of the space between the cornea and iris becoming too constricted or obstructed.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Glaucoma symptoms can vary from patient to patient. However, there are a few common symptoms among most patients. If you've experienced any of the following symptoms, it might be time to seek treatment for glaucoma. Glaucoma symptoms include:

  • Patchy or blind spots in your side vision
  • Severe headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye redness
  • Halos or rings around lights
  • Extreme eye pain

How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

Someone from our team will conduct a variety of necessary tests to find out if a patient has glaucoma. Each of the tests are quite easy and over with quickly. First, we will widen the pupils and maybe anesthetize the eyes with eye drops. After the eye drops have done their job, we will start doing the tests. Most of the time, these will include assessing the intraocular pressure (tonometry) and how thick the cornea is (pachymetry), looking at the width of the angle between the iris and cornea (gonioscopy), examining and digitally imaging the appearance of the optic nerve, testing the patient’s degree of outer (as opposed to central) vision, and testing for any spots of blindness.

How is Glaucoma Treated?

Treating glaucoma effectively involves a range of strategies aimed at lowering intraocular pressure (IOP), which is crucial to preventing optic nerve damage and preserving vision. Prescription eye drops are often the first line of treatment, working by either reducing the production of fluid in the eye or improving its outflow. For cases where medication isn't sufficient, surgical options are considered. Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) offers a less risky alternative to traditional surgery, with shorter recovery times and fewer complications. Laser therapies, such as trabeculoplasty, increase fluid outflow or decrease fluid production with minimal invasiveness. In more severe cases, a trabeculectomy may be performed to create a new drainage route for eye fluid. Each of these treatments is tailored to the patient's specific type of glaucoma, its severity, and the patient's overall health, with the goal of maintaining eye pressure at a safe level and preventing vision loss.

Glaucoma Diagnosis and Care FAQ

Can glaucoma cause blindness?

Glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. It is important to seek glaucoma treatment from a glaucoma specialist in Boca Raton, FL. Patients who maintain regular eye appointments and seek treatment for their glaucoma are significantly less likely to suffer total vision loss.

How quickly does glaucoma progress?

Glaucoma is generally considered a slow-progressing disease, but permanent vision loss can occur within the space of just a few years. Acute angle-closure glaucoma progresses more quickly than other types.

Can glaucoma be cured?

There is no cure for glaucoma, and any vision loss that occurs due to glaucoma is permanent. With treatment from a glaucoma specialist in Boca Raton, FL, the progression of the disease can be slowed, and patients can lead normal lives.

Can any lifestyle modifications help with glaucoma?

There is currently no evidence that any lifestyle modifications have a significant impact on the progression of glaucoma. It is important to look after your health for many reasons, but the best glaucoma treatments are currently medications and surgeries from your eye doctor.

Stop the Progression of Glaucoma

At Clewner & Kelly Eye Center, we often have consultations with patients dealing with glaucoma to guide them in managing the condition. It’s helpful to know that detection and treatment in the initial stages can help you keep your vision loss under control. Our team urges everyone who has suspicious symptoms, a genetic predisposition to glaucoma, or who has already been diagnosed with glaucoma to schedule a visit to our Boca Raton, FL facility.

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