What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma refers to a collection of eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying visual data to the brain. It is nearly always due to elevated pressure within the eye resulting from fluid buildup. When left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or total blindness. Although a cure has not been found for the condition, it can be controlled with early diagnosis and proper ophthalmic therapies. At Rothchild Eye Institute, our board-certified ophthalmologists are exceptionally trained in managing all forms of the condition, including open-angle, angle-closure, and end-stage glaucoma, and are skilled in providing the most innovative glaucoma management techniques. If you are over the age of 40 or have a family history of glaucoma, contact our Delray Beach, FL eye center to set up your exam and get a head start on managing your eye health.
Glaucoma Management Reviews
"I have been a patient o Dr. Rothchild for 30 years, as eye disease runs in my family. He took excellent care of my mother, though she did have RP, which to this day has no cure. He took care of my husband with laser surgery , due to extremely high eye pressure, the outcome was very successful . He has done two cataract surgeries for me , and the outcome has been amazing. I love everyone who works along side of him, and the front desk people are extremely competent and congenial. "- J.G. / Healthgrades / Feb 07, 2019
What Are Symptoms of Glaucoma?
The various types of glaucoma typically have no symptoms in the early stages. When glaucoma begins to worsen, individuals may first notice problems, like decreasing peripheral vision, eye strain, red eyes, and blurred vision. As glaucoma advances, symptoms might include:
- Halos around lights
- Loss of all but central vision
- Severe headaches
- Pain in the eyes
The sudden or incremental onset of these symptoms could indicate angle-closure (or narrow-angle glaucoma), which is a serious medical condition. Please contact Rothchild Eye Institute right away if you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms.
How Is Glaucoma Treated and Managed?
During an eye exam, our specialists will dilate the pupils and measure intraocular pressure (tonometry), corneal thickness (pachymetry), and the pathway between the iris and cornea (gonioscopy). We will also examine the optic nerve and assess visual acuity. If glaucoma is diagnosed, our ophthalmologists will recommend treatment options to help control the condition and minimize the risk of vision loss over time. Glaucoma treatments focus on reducing internal eye pressure to prevent further trauma to the optic nerve.
Early glaucoma can often be controlled with daily eye drops or oral medications. When glaucoma has advanced, MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery), laser surgeries, and trabeculectomy procedures could be recommended to relieve fluid buildup and pressure within the eye.
Glaucoma Management FAQs
Will I go blind from glaucoma?
A diagnosis of glaucoma can be stressful, leaving many to wonder if they will lose their eyesight. Fortunately, for the majority of glaucoma patients, blindness is rare. With the right treatment and regular use of eye drops, glaucoma can be successfully managed with positive outcomes.
What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
While there are several factors that contribute to the development of glaucoma, the most prevalent are genetics and health conditions. These risks include:
- Family history of glaucoma
- If you are 60 years old or older
- Chronic disease (diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, sickle cell anemia)
- If you are Black, Asian, or Hispanic
- High internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure)
- Having thin corneas
- Previous eye injuries or certain surgeries
- Being extremely farsighted or nearsighted
- Taking corticosteroid medications for long periods
Will I have to take glaucoma drops for the rest of my life?
If your eye doctor recommends glaucoma drops as a treatment, then yes, you will have to continue taking them for the rest of your life to prevent further deterioration. There currently is no cure for glaucoma, but it can be successfully managed.
What can I do to improve and manage my eye health?
In addition to treatments prescribed by your eye doctor, here are some things you can do to greatly improve outcomes with glaucoma and improve your eye health.
- Avoid foods high in trans-fatty acids
- Drink less coffee, tea, and caffeinated drinks
- Sleep with your head elevated to reduce eye pressure
- Exercise safely, avoid exercises that cause you to strain
- Manage chronic conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity)
- Take your prescribed medications regularly; don't skip
Take Control of Glaucoma
Since glaucoma symptoms generally do not show until the later stages, attending routine eye exams is crucial to early diagnosis and reducing the risk of vision loss. At Rothchild Eye Institute, we regularly treat glaucoma and help patients throughout Palm Beach County effectively manage this condition. Learn more about your options for glaucoma management in Delray Beach, FL by scheduling an eye exam at our ophthalmology center today.