Glaucoma is a frightening group of disorders that occur in the eye. When left untreated, they can eventually lead to total blindness.
What makes glaucoma so scary is that vision loss from it is permanent. It’s almost impossible to detect without outside help from an eye care professional.
In most cases, this occurs after vision loss has already happened. It is one of the best examples of why it is so important for you to schedule regular eye appointments every year.
You can avoid damage to your vision by scheduling a visit at Takle Eye in Griffin, GA today. Keep reading to find out more information about glaucoma!
How Does Glaucoma Work?
Unlike other eye problems that may affect the retina, the lens, or the cornea, glaucoma causes vision loss by damaging the optic nerve. The optic nerve handles delivering the information sensed by the retina to the brain. It is a series of fibers that form a sort of cable from the eye to the brain.
The damage that is caused to the optic nerve is usually due to having high internal eye pressure. If the fluids inside of the eye cannot cycle out as quickly as they should be able to, eye pressure rises.
This then presses on the optic nerve. How quickly the pressure rises depends on the type of glaucoma you are suffering from.
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. In this form of glaucoma, pressure increases in the eye slowly.
This is usually due to something clogging the drain meshwork inside of the eye. It allows for some fluid to drain, but at a much slower rate. This form of glaucoma is associated with the typical symptomless loss of vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma is a less common form of glaucoma. Unlike open-angle, angle-closure glaucoma has noticeable symptoms.
These can include pain and nausea and rapid deterioration of vision. It occurs when the drain meshwork becomes completely closed off. This causes a sharp spike in internal eye pressure.
This form of glaucoma is a medical emergency. If you notice any kind of sudden changes in your vision, seek medical aid immediately.
Glaucoma with Normal Eye Pressure
You can also have glaucoma while having expectedly normal internal eye pressure. This is also uncommon, but it is unclear why this happens.
It could be as simple as people having optic nerves that are weaker by nature. Researchers are still unsure of the exact reason.
Glaucoma Risk Factors
There are many things in play when determining how at risk for glaucoma you are.
Age, like many eye problems, plays a strong role in glaucoma risk. If you are over 60, you are at an increased risk of developing the disease.
Race and ethnicity are also common factors. People of African descent are the most at risk for glaucoma, and their age of increased risk is at 40.
Angle-closure glaucoma is found more frequently in people of Asian descent. Japanese heritage is also associated more strongly with normal-tension glaucoma.
Glaucoma is also hereditary to a degree, so if your family has a history with the disease, you will be more at risk.
Medical issues such as the use of corticosteroids, certain diseases such as diabetes, previous eye injuries or internal eye problems, and thin corneas all play a role in glaucoma risk.
Don’t live in fear of glaucoma, stay ahead of it with frequent eye care visits! Schedule an appointment at Takle Eye Group in Griffin, GA!
Glaucoma affects 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and over. While this eye condition is often associated with age, glaucoma can develop earlier.
In fact, it can start developing in someone’s forties. Glaucoma has few noticeable symptoms and is often diagnosed once vision loss occurs.
Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease. Untreated glaucoma will result in eventual blindness, but the condition is treatable! Keep reading to learn more about this eye condition!
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness
Glaucoma is one of the top causes of blindness worldwide and is second behind cataracts. Glaucoma affects about 2.7 million Americans. Cataracts affect 24.4 million Americans.
Both conditions begin developing as early as a patient’s forties. The big difference between cataracts and glaucoma is there’s no cure for glaucoma. If someone has a cataract, they can have it removed by undergoing cataract surgery.
Vision lost to glaucoma can’t be restored
Early detection and glaucoma treatment is key to minimizing vision loss. Unfortunately, any vision lost to glaucoma is gone for good.
It’s only through regular eye examinations that you can stay ahead of glaucoma. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma early, there are treatment options to consider.
With an early diagnosis, you can save more of your vision being lost to glaucoma. This makes it essential for adults who are 40 and over to see their eye doctors regularly. With comprehensive eye exams, you can stay a step ahead of glaucoma!
Why a dilated eye examination is so important
Your eye doctor will need to dilate your eyes during your eye examination. By dilating your eyes, it is the best way to detect early-stage glaucoma.
Without dilation, the chances are high your eye doctor could miss signs of glaucoma. Nobody likes getting their eyes dilated, but it’s a necessary part of getting eye exams!
How often do you need an eye examination?
How often you will need your eyes examined depends on both your age and your risk level. It’s best to discuss this with your eye doctor.
If you know that you are “high risk” for developing glaucoma, you should go at least every one to two years. For people that are not at high risk, you should still go every few years.
Ultimately, ask your eye doctor if you’re unsure about how often to get a comprehensive eye exam.
Who is at risk?
The simple truth is that every adult 40 and over is at risk of developing glaucoma. Higher risk individuals are people who have a family history of glaucoma.
Other people at higher risk are those that are of African American or Hispanic descent. If you have a condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, you are also at a higher risk for glaucoma.
It’s rare, but babies and young children can also develop congenital glaucoma.
Glaucoma treatment options
Glaucoma might be one of the top causes of blindness, but it is also very treatable in its early stages.
Treatment options include prescribed eye drops, special pills, and laser eye surgical procedures. How your glaucoma will be treated depends on how severe your intraocular pressure is.
Concerned that you may have lost vision due to glaucoma? Schedule a consultation at Takle Eye Group in Griffin, Georgia today!
When your vision is less than perfect, it’s easy to jump at a popular treatment, expecting it to be the one for you. Lasik, for example, is the most commonly performed vision correction surgery. It is a highly effective procedure, but for people over age 50 with vision issues it might be worth talking to your doctor about cataract surgery before you go in for Lasik. Once you understand how both cataract surgery and Lasik work, it’s easy to see how important it is to choose the right procedure for your condition.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye. They can distort or obscure normal vision. Often, patients will complain of a “film” over the eye, or halos forming around light sources. The only effective treatment of a cataract is surgical removal of the lens.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful surgeries performed in America, with nearly 99 percent of outcomes resulting in improved vision. During cataract surgery, the eye’s natural lens is removed and is replaced with an artificial lens.
Lasik, while it can be helpful in conjunction with cataract surgery, can’t be used alone to treat cataracts. During Lasik, the surgeon uses a laser to reshape the clear refractive bump on the front of the eye, called the cornea, so that light coming into the eye is focused correctly.
Cataracts can’t be improved with laser treatment, but Lasik can be used to address poor vision post-surgery. This generally isn’t necessary, however, as the technology for artificial lenses greatly reduces the likelihood of a patient’s vision needing further adjustment.
So which treatment is right for you? Speak to your eye doctor about any vision issues you may be having, and together you can determine the correct treatment for your needs. Takle Eye Group offers patients a state-of-the-art eye surgery facility and the latest no-stitch small-incision surgical techniques. Schedule your appointment online or by calling 770-228-3836 and find out what we can do to improve your vision.
Your great-grandmother’s dining room table, your uncle’s old fishing gear, your grandpa’s fried chicken recipe; we inherit a lot of great things from our families. Be aware, though, not everything you inherit from your family is positive. Genetic risk factors are a big part of what your doctor checks for during a regular eye exam, and what you don’t know about your family’s history of eye disease can certainly hurt you. For example, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says that having one immediate family member with glaucoma makes you four to nine times more likely to develop the disease yourself.
Many eye conditions have genetic factors. Diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), astigmatism, and cataracts can all be genetic, so knowledge of your family’s eye health history is crucial in early detection and treatment or prevention of these and other genetic eye issues. How can you find out about your family’s eye health history? Ask around! Relatives closest on the family tree are your first resource for determining your own risk. Ask your parents, siblings, and grandparents if they know of any eye problems like glaucoma, astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness, or anything else in the family. Reunions also make for a great family history resource, so don’t be shy about asking aunts, uncles, and everyone else about the state of eye health in your family.
Don’t be so quick to have genetic testing done! The AAO has concluded that tests of such kinds don’t tend to be helpful in detecting and treating eye diseases. If you are really interested in genetic testing for congenital eye diseases, talk to your ophthalmologist. They can tell you about different tests and whether or not available tests might be helpful.
Your family history is important; don’t wait to find out what may be lurking in your genetics! If you are diagnosed with an eye health issue, it is also helpful to share that information with family members so they can let their own care providers know. Keep tabs on any eye issues you hear about among your family, and it just might help your care provider prevent problems for you in the future!
Set up an appointment today by calling 770-228-3836 or schedule your visit online, and speak with one of our doctors about your family’s eye health history. You might be surprised at what your family history has to say about your own eyes!
Takle Eye Group is proud to present our newest procedure for patients who have cataracts and are also managing glaucoma. iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass is the first microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device to safely reduce pressure in the eye by creating a permanent opening in the drainage network around the eye (called the trabecular meshwork).
The iStent® is the smallest ever FDA-approved medical device. It’s a snorkel-like tube that’s inserted into the trabecular meshwork during cataract surgery. No additional procedure is necessary. Once inserted, iStent® helps manage the flow of aqueous humor – the fluid in your eye – so that excess pressure in the eye is reduced and the danger of permanent damage is lessened.
iStent® may also decrease the need for some glaucoma medications prescribed to you, though this is at the discretion of your doctor.
If you have glaucoma, are planning for cataract surgery, and would like to discuss iStent® as a potential treatment option, contact us for a consultation at http://www.takleeye.com/contact-us/ or by calling 770-228-3836.
INDICATION FOR USE
The iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent (Models GTS100R and GTS100L) is indicated for use in conjunction with cataract surgery for the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) in adult patients with mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma currently treated with ocular hypotensive medication.
The iStent is contraindicated in eyes with primary or secondary angle closure glaucoma, including neovascular glaucoma, as well as in patients with retrobulbar tumor, thyroid eye disease, Sturge-Weber Syndrome or any other type of condition that may cause elevated episcleral venous pressure.
Gonioscopy should be performed prior to surgery to exclude PAS, rubeosis, and other angle abnormalities or conditions that would prohibit adequate visualization of the angle that could lead to improper placement of the stent and pose a hazard. The iStent is MR-Conditional meaning that the device is safe for use in a specified MR environment under specified conditions, please see label for details.
The surgeon should monitor the patient postoperatively for proper maintenance of intraocular pressure. The safety and effectiveness of the iStent has not been established as an alternative to the primary treatment of glaucoma with medications, in children, in eyes with significant prior trauma, chronic inflammation, or an abnormal anterior segment, in pseudophakic patients with glaucoma, in patients with pseudoexfoliative glaucoma, pigmentary, and uveitic glaucoma, in patients with unmedicated IOP less than 22 mmHg or greater than 36 mmHg after ?washout? of medications, or in patients with prior glaucoma surgery of any type including argon laser trabeculoplasty, for implantation of more than a single stent, after complications during cataract surgery, and when implantation has been without concomitant cataract surgery with IOL implantation for visually significant cataract.
The most common post-operative adverse events reported in the randomized pivotal trial included early post-operative corneal edema (8%), BCVA loss of = 1 line at or after the 3 month visit (7%), posterior capsular opacification (6%), stent obstruction (4%) early post-operative anterior chamber cells (3%), and early post-operative corneal abrasion (3%). Please refer to Directions for Use for additional adverse event information.
Federal law restricts this device to sale by, or on the order of, a physician. Please reference the Directions for Use labeling for a complete list of contraindications, warnings, precautions, and adverse events.
Your eyes are under a lot of pressure. The front of the eye constantly produces a fluid called aqueous humor. Small amounts of aqueous humor accumulate or drain off, helping the eye maintain optimal pressure. Blockage can occur, though, and insufficient drainage can lead to high pressure in the eye and possible damage to the optical nerve. This is the condition known as glaucoma, and there are two types to be aware of.
The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle. Open-angle glaucoma develops slowly, with age. Often, open-angle glaucoma presents no symptoms in its early stages. The worst one might notice is restricted peripheral vision, but, as the disease progresses, blank spots begin to form in a patient’s vision. If left untreated, glaucoma can result in total blindness. The best way to avoid permanent vision loss is to have regular eye exams. The sooner glaucoma is diagnosed and treated, the better.
A less common form of glaucoma is closed-angle. Closed-angle glaucoma is an eye emergency; it happens quickly and is painful. Angle closure happens when the pupil moves or dilates and blocks the drainage angles in the eye. Vision damage happens very quickly in closed-angle glaucoma, and the symptoms are so painful and dramatic that most patients seek medical help immediately.
To find out more about glaucoma symptoms, risk factors, and treatments visit http://www.takleeye.com/glaucoma-center-griffin/. There you’ll find a helpful video that explains exactly what’s going on when drainage is stopped, and what treatments are available to mitigate damage and return the eyes to normal function.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.