Combating Glaucoma in Las Vegas, NV
Glaucoma is a group of related diseases that damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and possible blindness. In fact, it’s a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the US, and it can affect patients at every age. Many people affected with glaucoma do not experience any symptoms and don’t know they have the disease until they’ve already lost a significant amount of vision.
With early detection and treatment, however, it can be protected. Catching glaucoma in Las Vegas, NV, at a treatable stage is one of many reasons to have thorough exams regularly with Siems LASIK & Eye Centers.
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
There are several factors that increase the risk, including:
• Being Over 60
• Being of Particular Descent, such as African-American or Asian
• Having a Family History of Glaucoma
• Having Elevated Intraocular Pressure
• Having Poor Vision or Other Eye Disorders or Injuries
• Having Certain Medical Conditions, like Diabetes
• Taking Certain Medications, such as Corticosteroids for Prolonged Periods
Patients with risk factors for the disorder should be especially vigilant about having regular eye examinations.
The Causes of Glaucoma
Certain diseases or conditions can contribute to its development. Glaucoma is considered primary if its origin is unknown and secondary if it results from another medical condition. Possible causes include:
Types of Glaucoma
The 2 major types are primary open-angle, when fluid drains too slowly from the eye’s drainage channels (trabecula) and angle-closure (narrow-angle) when the trabecula become blocked. Either type may be a primary or secondary disorder. Approximately 95 percent of glaucoma patients suffer from primary open-angle. Other types, which occur much more rarely, include:
The Symptoms of Glaucoma
It is important to remember that patients with early stages are most often asymptomatic. When symptoms do show up, they vary depending on the type of glaucoma and can be in one or both eyes. Open-angle symptoms include:
• Dim or Blurred Vision
• Gradual Loss of Peripheral Vision
• Tunnel Vision (at Advanced Stages)
Angle-closure symptoms encompass systemic, as well as eye, problems, such as:
Diagnosis of Glaucoma
The diagnosis is made after a comprehensive medical examination of the eye and a review of the patient’s medical history. Tests are conducted to confirm the diagnosis and may include some of the following:
Glaucoma Treatment Details
Treatment should start as soon as possible to minimize the risk of permanent vision loss. There is no cure, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing further damage. Some of the treatment methods are:
Eye drops or oral medicine may either reduce fluid production in the front of the eye or help drain excess fluid. Possible side effects are redness, stinging, irritation, or blurred vision. Regular dosage is needed to keep the eye pressure under control.
Trabeculoplasty, iridotomy, or cyclophotocoagulation are laser procedures designed to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye or eliminate blockages.
A trabeculectomy may be used to create a new channel to drain fluid from the eye and reduce the pressure that causes glaucoma. We only perform this surgery if medication and laser procedures have been unsuccessful.