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Glaucoma is a condition of the eyes that results in damage to the optic nerve. In most cases, glaucoma is caused by increased intraocular pressure, while more unusual types may occur in people whose optic nerves are sensitive to normal eye pressure. Here at Swan Family Optometry in Fair Oaks, we can help you understand, diagnose and treat glaucoma.
The most common type of glaucoma, called open-angle glaucoma, is caused by a gradual rise in intraocular pressure when the eye's fluid drainage system does not work as well as it should. A lesser-known, often called acute-angle glaucoma, can happen when the iris of the eye actually slides over the main drainage angle and completely closes it off. Acute-angle glaucoma can be a sudden-onset condition that may require emergency treatment.
Some people are more prevalent to develop glaucoma than others. Older people make up the majority of glaucoma patients, and having a family member with the condition increases your risk. People of African or Latin American heritage are also at a greater risk. Conditions such as diabetes and chronic migraines are also associated with an increased risk of glaucoma. While some of these risk factors are not mutually exclusive, it’s important to visit your Fair Oaks eye doctor to learn more.
Because it is a slowly-developing disease in most cases, the signs of glaucoma can be subtle. Most people do not notice the condition until they start to lose their peripheral vision, at which point the disease is already quite advanced. This is one of the reasons that regular eye exams from your optometrist in Fair Oaks are recommended.
Symptoms of acute-angle glaucoma are severe and represent an emergency:
Glaucoma is usually diagnosed through a complete eye exam from your Fair Oaks optometrist. It involves dilating your eyes using drops and measuring the pressure in your eyes through a process called tonometry.
Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Proper management with our eye doctor in Fair Oaks can delay or prevent vision loss from glaucoma. There are several types of treatment that may be used, depending on the type and severity of the condition:
Most people manage their glaucoma with eye drops prescribed by a Fair Oaks eye doctor. However, severe cases or cases that do not respond to medication may require surgery. Lasers or conventional surgical implements may be used to increase the functionality of the drainage angle, or create a new method of draining fluid from the eye.
Damage caused by glaucoma is permanent. However, modern medicine allows your Fair Oaks eye doctor to prevent much of this vision loss if the condition is caught early on. Screening for vision conditions such as glaucoma is one of the most important things that our optometrist in Fair Oaks treats. To make an appointment, call 916-966-6080 today.
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Very professional, thorough, helpful, informative and friendly. Great service. Highly recommend.