Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a progressive eye condition in which damage to the optic nerve, caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye, can lead to irreversible vision loss. It is the second leading cause of blindness in Canada.

Causes of Glaucoma

While the precise cause of Glaucoma is still unknown, it is generally associated with a buildup of fluid pressure in the eye, damaging the optic nerve. There are 4 types of glaucoma:

  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Normal-tension glaucoma
  • Pigmentary glaucoma

Risk Factors

Glaucoma is often referred to as the ‘thief of sight’ as it can cause irreversible vision loss without displaying any early signs. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risk factors. These include:

  • Age (Patients over the age of 60 are at a higher risk)
  • High internal eye pressure
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Eye trauma
  • Smoking
  • Untreated high blood pressure
  • Corticosteroid use

Glaucoma Diagnosis

Because the early stages of glaucoma don’t present any symptoms, only a comprehensive eye exam can reveal whether or not you have glaucoma.

During such an exam, we will check:

  • Internal eye pressure
  • The drainage angle of your eye
  • Optic nerve health
  • Corneal thickness
  • Peripheral vision

We encourage all of our patients to schedule regular eye check up appointments so that we can screen for glaucoma and prevent any damage or vision loss

Glaucoma Treatment Options

While glaucoma cannot be treated, it can be very successfully managed. The goal of glaucoma management is to lower the internal pressure of your eye. Depending on the type of glaucoma and your specific situation, treatment solutions include:

  • Prescription eye drops
  • Oral medications
  • Laser surgery
  • Drainage tubes
  • Filler surgery
  • A combination of these methods

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