Glaucoma is a silent eye disease. You won’t experience symptoms until it has progressed, permanently damaging your optic nerve and causing vision loss. Dr. Stephen Chase at Family Vision Care Center can detect the signs of glaucoma inside your eye long before symptoms appear. With early detection, you can begin treatment to protect your vision, so schedule routine eye exams by calling the office in Torrance, California, or booking an appointment online.
Glaucoma is the name of several eye diseases that damage your optic nerve. Most types of glaucoma are caused by high intraocular pressure (IOP), which is the pressure inside your eye that’s created by the fluid responsible for maintaining the eye’s shape.
When IOP stays higher than normal, it pushes against the optic nerve. Over time, untreated glaucoma progresses to cause vision loss and blindness.
Glaucoma doesn't cause any symptoms at first. Your vision remains normal, and you won't have other symptoms like pain. Even without symptoms, however, IOP continues to increase, causing ongoing damage to the optic nerve.
Eventually, enough of the optic nerve is damaged to affect your vision. The first symptom of glaucoma is loss of your peripheral vision, or side vision. Over time, it affects your central vision, which interferes with your ability to see straight ahead, gradually worsening until your vision is lost.
Your eye maintains normal pressure by maintaining the right amount of fluid. Fluid drains out of your eye at the same rate that fresh fluid is produced and released into the eye. Pressure increases when this system is out of balance.
The two most common types of glaucoma are:
POAG represents at least 90% of all cases of glaucoma. It develops when the primary drainage system, the trabecular meshwork, is partially blocked, increasing the amount of fluid inside your eye and raising IOP.
This type of glaucoma usually develops suddenly when the opening to the trabecular meshwork becomes blocked by the iris. Because it happens so quickly, and the rise in IOP is rapid, angle-closure glaucoma uniquely causes symptoms such eye pain, nausea and vomiting, headache, and blurred vision.
Your treatment focuses on lowering IOP and keeping it within a normal range. The first line of treatment consists of eye drops containing medications that lower IOP by decreasing the production of fluid or improving drainage.
When you get routine eye examinations, Dr. Chase can see early changes in your IOP and optic nerve before you have symptoms. As a result, you can get treatment to lower your IOP and protect your vision.
To schedule your eye examination, call Family Vision Care Center or book an appointment online.