“Glaucoma” is one of those words everybody fears, and rightly so since this progressive disease of the optic nerves can create serious and irreversible vision loss. But when properly diagnosed and treated, glaucoma can be controlled, sparing your sight for many years to come. We’re proud to offer sight-saving glaucoma treatment here at Holt Eye Clinic.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is progressive destruction or failure of the optic nerves that convey images from the retinas to the brain. The optic nerves are bundles of delicate, highly sensitive nerve fibers. In most cases of glaucoma, these fibers are damaged by the elevated fluid pressure inside the eye. This fluid, the aqueous humor, is produced in constant quantities by the eye, but a drainage network at the iris allows excess fluid to escape. When this drainage doesn’t happen correctly, optic nerve fibers die off, permanently impairing your vision.
The most common form of glaucoma is called open-angle glaucoma, in which the drainage system is inadequate but still functional. This situation may produce no vision symptoms for a long time even as the optic nerve destruction continues. When vision is lost, peripheral vision is the first capability to go. Some people are prone to angle-closure glaucoma, in which the drainage system suddenly and completely shuts down. This situation, which causes eye pain, headaches and immediate vision loss, is a medical emergency.
How Your Optometrists in Hot Springs Handle Glaucoma
Since the damage caused by glaucoma cannot be undone, early detection is an all-important first step in dealing with this eye disease. Your Optometrists in Hot Springs (Dr. Graham Holt or Dr. Cynthia Carnie) routinely check for signs of glaucoma during a comprehensive eye exam, so make sure you’re scheduling these exams on a regular basis. By dilating the pupils and viewing the inside of the eye, we can observe any visible damage to the optic nerves. Your Hot Springs optometrist will also use pressure testing (tonometry) techniques to determine whether your intraocular pressure is suspiciously high. Last but not least, peripheral vision testing can reveal early signs of glaucoma-related vision loss.
Glaucoma doesn’t have to mean blindness. Your Hot Springs optometrist can prescribe medications, either in oral or eye-drop form, that help regulate eye pressure by reducing fluid production or enhancing eye drainage. Even if medications can’t quite get your glaucoma under control, our ophthalmologists, Dr. Jeffrey Holt or Dr. Thomas Moseley, can recommend laser treatments or surgical glaucoma management procedures to optimize your eye drainage. These procedures are quick, painless, and highly effective, especially when combined with medication.
Schedule an Eye Exam or Glaucoma Treatment in Hot Springs Today
Whether you already know you need treatment for glaucoma or you just want to make sure it’s caught as early as possible in an eye exam, our team is ready to help you preserve your sight. Call Holt Eye Clinic today to schedule your eye exam or glaucoma treatment in Hot Springs!