Glaucoma is the term used for a group of eye diseases that affect the optic nerve, which carries information from your eye to your brain. About 3 million Americans live with glaucoma.
Glaucoma can develop when some of the 1 million nerve fibers that make up your optic nerve become damaged, usually due to pressure in the eyes. Over time, untreated glaucoma can lead to loss of vision, starting with your peripheral vision and eventually your central vision.
That’s the bad news. But here’s the good news: Although there’s no cure for glaucoma, treatment can help prevent or slow down vision loss, especially if your doctor identifies glaucoma early. People with glaucoma can enjoy a full life.
At Advanced Laser & Eye Center of Arizona, home of MyEyesToday.com, our eye care specialists take your vision very seriously. Because glaucoma may cause no symptoms — it’s sometimes referred to as the “silent thief of sight” — we include glaucoma screening in our eye exams. (Click here to read our recent blog about the signs of glaucoma you should never ignore.)
What happens if you have glaucoma? Here, we explain what you can expect in life after a glaucoma diagnosis.
The most important goals of glaucoma treatment are protecting your eyesight and preventing future vision loss.
Fortunately, a range of treatment options exist. The type of treatment your specialist recommends for you depends on various factors, such as the type of glaucoma you have, the severity of your condition, and the amount of vision loss you’ve experienced.
Treatment options include:
Eye drops: Fluid accumulation in your eyes can apply pressure to the optic nerve, which can contribute to its damage. Prescription eye drops can help reduce the amount of fluid in your eyes or help the fluid drain more quickly. Different types of drops work in different ways, and your specialist may prescribe one or more types to customize your eye drop treatment plan.
Oral medication: To help increase drainage in your eyes, your specialist may prescribe an oral medicine. Typically, you take the medication in addition to using eye drops.
Laser treatments: Laser treatments use light energy to help reduce pressure and improve drainage in your eyes.
Surgery: If eye drops or medication can’t adequately relieve pressure in your eye, traditional or laser surgery may help improve fluid drainage. We perform many surgeries in our state-of-the-art surgery center.
After you begin glaucoma therapy, your specialist monitors your vision and your response to treatment. We let you know how often you should come in for eye exams, and you should be sure to keep all of your glaucoma follow-up appointments.
Receiving a glaucoma diagnosis is upsetting, but by taking a proactive treatment approach and following up with regular eye exams, you can work closely with your eye specialist to do everything possible to protect your remaining vision.
Whether you need a routine eye exam, advanced glaucoma care, or other treatment, the experienced specialists at Advanced Laser & Eye Center of Arizona — with offices in Gilbert, Chandler, and Queen Creek, Arizona — are here for you, offering a full range of services.
To schedule an appointment, call one of our offices directly or book online using our convenient tool on this website.