Glaucoma in Champaign, IL
Glaucoma is an eye condition caused by buildup of pressure inside the eye. When this pressure builds up, damage to the optic nerve is the result. Glaucoma one of the leading causes of blindness across all age groups in the United States, second only to macular degeneration.
Many types of glaucoma display no symptoms until the damage is done, and often people affected by glaucoma don’t receive treatment for their condition until it’s too late.
This lack of warning is one of the many reasons it’s so important to see your eye doctor in Champaign. Often, the condition is only caught during eye exams. If it’s been more than a year since you saw your eye doctor in Champaign, make an appointment to see your physician today.
There are multiple types of glaucoma. Below are the two most common types.
Open-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma accounts for approximately 90% of glaucoma cases and is caused by the gradual clogging of the drainage canals in the eye. This type of glaucoma can develop over a long period, and is often not noticed until the damage is done. This condition is also known as chronic glaucoma.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma. This type of glaucoma is caused by the sudden blockage of the drainage canals, which causes a sharp, steep rise of pressure in the eye. This type of glaucoma develops very quickly and usually has symptoms that are very noticeable, requiring immediate medical attention. This type of glaucoma occurs when the angle between the iris and the cornea closes.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
The symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type of glaucoma that the patient is experiencing.
Patients who experience open-angle glaucoma sometimes get blind spots in their peripheral or central vision. These blind spots might appear patchy and will generally be visible in both eyes. Tunnel vision is an advanced sign of the condition.
Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma
Acute angle-closure glaucoma causes severe headaches, nausea, blurred vision, eye pain and redness in the eyes. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Although some patients notice symptoms of the condition and seek treatment for those symptoms, many people do not experience symptoms of glaucoma. For those who do not have symptoms, the only hope of catching glaucoma in its early stages is to see the eye doctor.
As your eye doctor in Champaign, we can diagnose glaucoma by performing routine exams to check for the condition. We can catch glaucoma in its early stages with a visual acuity test and a visual field test.
Both tests measure how well you can see at various distances. We can also diagnose your condition by measuring the pressure inside your eye with a tonometry test, or by measuring the thickness of your cornea with a pachymetry test.
The best way to prevent glaucoma is to get screened for it and to catch it in its early stages. There is no sure-fire way to prevent glaucoma. If you’re at high risk for glaucoma, it’s very important to be screened for this condition every couple of years.
Who Is At Risk for Glaucoma?
Anyone can develop glaucoma, but you’re at particular risk if:
- You’re over age 60
- You have above-average intraocular pressure
- You’re Asian, Hispanic or black
- You have a condition like diabetes or high blood pressure
- You have a family history of glaucoma
- You are very nearsighted or farsighted
- You have corneas that are thin in the center
- You’ve had certain types of eye surgery
- You have had an eye injury in the past
- You had to use long-term corticosteroid medication (especially in eye-drop form)
How is Glaucoma Treated?
Glaucoma is treated by reducing the buildup of fluid in the eye to prevent any additional damage. There are several ways that your eye doctor in Champaign can help stop the pressure from building up in your eyes. Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse the damage that has already been done.
Prescription eye drops are a common go-to product that can help treat glaucoma. Some prescription eye drops work by reducing the production of fluid in the eye, while others increase the outflow of fluid.
Prescription eye drops must be applied according to the doctor’s orders to be most effective. Often, patients become relaxed about their usage of prescription eye drops because they feel no symptoms. This can reduce the effectiveness of the medication, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s orders.
Laser therapy is another type of treatment that can help patients by increasing the outflow of fluid in the eye. Some types of laser therapy eliminate blockages in the eye.
As a last resort, some eye doctors use surgery to improve drainage and reduce pressure in the eye.
Contact Us for Glaucoma Treatment in Champaign
Glaucoma is a serious condition that can cause blindness if left untreated. You can protect your eyes by seeing an eye doctor on a regular basis. Get check-ups regularly to catch glaucoma in its early stages. To learn more about how you can protect your eyes and to get checked for glaucoma, contact Champaign Eye Professionals today.