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Glaucoma is a condition that results in damage to the optic nerve. This can lead to vision loss and even blindness. It is caused by an increase in pressure inside the eye, which puts stress on the optic nerve. Although glaucoma can occur at any age, it is more common in older adults. There are several different types of glaucoma, each with its own set of symptoms. Glaucoma can be treated with medication or surgery, but it is important to catch it early to prevent vision loss. If you think you might have glaucoma, see your eye doctor for a diagnosis.
Everyone has some risk of glaucoma. It is important for everyone to have routine eye exams to look for the early signs of glaucoma. The risk for glaucoma is increased with these factors:
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve and causes vision loss – often without warning or symptoms. Like a cable wire, the optic nerve is responsible for carrying the images we see to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve can occur when the pressure within the eye increases, usually due to a build-up of aqueous fluid inside the eye. This leads to the development of blind spots in our field of vision. However, damage may occur without elevation of the intra-ocular pressure. Conversely, the pressure may at times be elevated without damaging the optic nerve. This is a condition known as Ocular Hypertension. Blind spots in the field of vision usually go undetected by the individual until the optic nerve is significantly damaged and a great loss of peripheral or central vision has occurred. A Visual Field evaluation can detect glaucoma damage in its very early stages. If the disease is untreated the optic nerve may be damaged to a point that irreversible blindness will result.
Most people with glaucoma suffer from one of two major types of the disease, “open angle” and “closed angle” glaucoma.
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, treatment is available to save your vision. The primary goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP) and stop the optic nerve damage. Several kinds of treatment are available to lower IOP. These include eye drops, laser therapy, and surgery.
Eye drop medications lower IOP by either reducing the amount of fluid entering the eye or increasing the amount of fluid exiting the eye. There are several different kinds of glaucoma medications, and each differs in terms of both its ability to lower IOP and its potential side effects. Laser therapy often is used when medications fail to lower IOP; it is also used for patients who cannot tolerate medications due to side effects. If eye drop medications or laser therapy fail to bring the intraocular pressure down to a safe range, surgery is available to lower this level.
Denver Eye Surgeons is the premier multi-specialty vision care practice in Denver, Colorado. We have the most experienced physicians to provide the best care to our patients in a friendly environment. We pride ourselves in our excellent customer service, commitment to new technology and highly trained staff.
Our qualified glaucoma doctors will diagnose and properly set a treatment option in place. Call us today for more information on how we can help with the glaucoma eye disease.