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Q and A: What You Need to Know About Glaucoma

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Did you know that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness? Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases marked by a high intraocular pressure (IOP), resulting in optic nerve damage. As we observe Glaucoma Awareness Month this January, your trusted eye doctor answers some frequently asked questions about this condition.

Q: What Causes Glaucoma?

The trabecular meshwork is the angle between your cornea and iris. It plays an important role in emptying your eye fluids, keeping your IOP levels stable. Structural infirmities or blockages, however, may compromise this draining process, resulting in eye fluid accumulation.

Q: How Does Glaucoma Affect My Eyesight?

Excessive fluid volumes in your eyes may result in increased IOP levels. Your eye exams may yield values above the normal range of 12-22 mmHg. High ocular pressure may cause optic nerve compression and damage, disturbing the transfer of image signals to your brain. Without prompt management, this may result in vision irregularities and worse, loss of sight.

Q: What Are the Types of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma has two major classifications: open, or wide-angle, and close, or narrow-angle. The former is the most common form of this disease. It occurs when your IOP rises even if there are no obstructions in the draining angle. While it’s asymptomatic at first, headaches and changes in your visual acuity may be apparent later on.

Narrow-angle glaucoma, on the other hand, develops when an obstruction prevents the smooth emptying of your eye fluids, resulting in their buildup. Although less common, it’s more often associated with a sudden onset of vision loss. This may be preceded by blurry vision, seeing halos around lights and tunnel syndrome.

Q: How Is Glaucoma Managed?

Glaucoma management primarily depends on what type you have. For open-angle glaucoma, we may prescribe applying IOP-lowering eye drops to control your symptoms and preserve your eyesight. For those with narrow-angle glaucoma, we may suggest performing a surgery to remove obstructions in your draining channel.

For premier eye care, turn to Mission Vision. Apart from managing glaucoma, we also provide high-quality eyeglasses, LASIK co-management services and more. Call us today at (210) 315-5559 or complete our form to schedule an appointment. We serve San Antonio and nearby areas in Texas.