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Glaucoma 101: Cause, Types and Treatment

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Glaucoma is a leading cause of individuals becoming blind in their golden years. At Mission Vision, we believe that having a good understanding of a disease is one of the best ways to prevent its increasing prevalence. Let your expert eye doctor discuss this condition in detail.

Glaucoma Development

Your eye fluids drain through a trabecular meshwork, located in the angle between your iris and cornea. Maintaining healthy eye fluid levels helps keep your intraocular pressure (IOP) stable. That said, blockages or structural infirmities may disrupt the fluid-emptying cycle of your eyes, resulting in fluid build-up. Your IOP may rise which may potentially damage your optic nerve. This may disrupt the transmission of visual signals and the image translation process.

Glaucoma Classifications

Glaucoma is generally classified into two distinctions: open or wide-angle and close or narrow-angle. The former happens when the channel ineffectively drains your eye fluids. This may happen spontaneously and without visible symptoms, which is why this condition is also referred to as the “silent thief of sight.” Having comprehensive eye exams routinely is a great way to detect this problem as early as possible, giving us better chances of saving your vision.

Meanwhile, the close type of glaucoma occurs when something blocks the angle where your eye fluids drain, resulting in their accumulation. This may cause your IOP to increase, compressing your optic nerve. This type is often associated with sudden eye pain, headaches and nausea. You may also develop blurry eyesight, halos around lights and even vision loss.

Our Suggested Treatment

There is no definite cure for glaucoma at this time. That said, your treatment plan will focus on halting its progression, preserving your vision and relieving any discomfort. We may prescribe applying IOP-lowering eye drops, which may contain prostaglandins to increase fluid drainage or beta-blockers to reduce the eye fluid produced. Some variants may also contain alpha-adrenergic agonists and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors to control eye fluid production.

If the eye drops are insufficient at maintaining your IOP, we may also recommend taking pills as an alternative therapy. We may suggest surgery as well to remove structural obstructions or create a new drainage channel. We may advise using corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses too for better visual acuity.

If you have any further questions about glaucoma, call us at (210) 315-5559 or complete our form. We serve San Antonio and nearby TX areas.