Glaucoma: Details You Should Know
Glaucoma is one of a few potentially serious eye diseases that adults too often do not become aware of until it is too late. Part of our intention at the Eye Institute of Houston is to help people enjoy healthy eyesight throughout their lives. When it comes to glaucoma, one of the best ways we can assist people is to educate them. We would love to see the number of cases go down (glaucoma affects an estimated 3 million Americans). We would love to see far fewer cases of vision loss in the future, so continue to spread awareness, as we are going to do here.
What you Should Know About Glaucoma
- The eye is damaged by excess fluid
The eyes have fluid to maintain moisture as well as the right amount of pressure in the central chamber behind the lens and in front of the retina. Normally, fluid drains out of the eyes into a drainage system that connects to the nasal passageways. Glaucoma prevents fluid from draining from the eye and, instead, causes it to build up within the intraocular space. This causes pressure on the optic nerve, which is the vital structure that delivers light impulses to the brain to form vision.
- Glaucoma doesn’t provide warning signs
Because glaucoma increases the pressure in the eye, you might think that you would develop symptoms such as an ache. Because fluid does not properly drain from the eye, you might think that you would experience excessive tearing. Neither of these things happens when you have glaucoma. All of the “action” is on the inside of the eyeball. The only visible sign of glaucoma is vision loss; and when that happens, it cannot be corrected.
- There is no cure for glaucoma
Glaucoma is the second most common cause of vision loss in the world. One of the reasons this may be is that there is no cure. Another reason could be that the absence of symptoms allows the damage to the optic nerve to continue undetected. While we cannot cure glaucoma and cannot reverse the vision loss it causes, we can treat this condition. Ophthalmologists do this by performing procedures that increase the efficacy of fluid drainage from the eye. By improving fluid drainage, treatment reduces pressure on the optic nerve and may slow the progression of vision loss, if not prevent it altogether. The Eye Institute of Houston offers comprehensive eye care services in a friendly, professional setting. To schedule a visit with us to learn more about glaucoma or your eye health, call (713) 668-7337.