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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ryan Corte

Glaucoma: What Is It and Are You At Risk?

Have you ever thought about how much you use your side vision on a daily basis? From driving, biking, or walking to navigating your way through a crowd, your side vision is very important! Even without any visible eye or vision problems, you still may have glaucoma, an eye disease that damages your side vision.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “How is that possible?” Well, like having high blood pressure, this disease often starts without you noticing any symptoms at all!

In this article, you'll learn what glaucoma is, who is most at risk, and how the disease is managed.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases where damage occurs to your optic nerve, the same nerve that connects your eye to your brain so you can see.

Nicknamed the “silent thief of sight,” loss of your side vision, like you’re looking through a tunnel that gets smaller and smaller, is typically the first symptom of glaucoma.

Unfortunately, glaucoma is an eye disease that often goes unnoticed and leads to permanent vision damage.

Who is at risk of developing glaucoma?

While the exact cause of this disease is still unknown, risk factors include:

  • Age

  • Family history

  • Elevated intraocular eye pressure (IOP)

  • Increased cup to disc (C/D) ratio

  • Being African American, Asian or Hispanic

How is glaucoma diagnosed and managed?

Glaucoma is diagnosed by assessing the following:

  • IOP

  • The appearance of the optic nerve

  • Narrow or closed anterior chamber angles

  • Thinning of the optic nerve Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) values

  • Visual field defects

At Northlake Eye, we perform full glaucoma workups that encompass all of the testing listed above.

If you're diagnosed with glaucoma, treatment and management options focus on bringing down IOP and include the following:

  • Glaucoma eye drops (most common)

  • Laser surgery

  • Trabeculectomy

  • Glaucoma implant surgery

  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)

Concerned you may have or be at risk of having glaucoma?

Schedule an eye exam with one of our doctors of optometry today!

Give us a call or simply schedule online: Northlake Mall | Concord Mills | Biltmore Park | Asheville Mall

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