Glaucoma in Columbia & Eldon

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Avoid the Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is a serious condition. It’s often called “the silent thief of sight” because it can develop painlessly and with no symptoms, so it often goes unnoticed until devastating vision loss occurs. 

The condition impacts 60 million people worldwide, making it the second leading cause of blindness. But, there’s good news. If it’s detected early, vision loss from glaucoma can often be prevented.

Our office has invested in advanced technology to test for glaucoma, helping you avoid a meeting with the Silent Thief of Sight. So please book your appointment with Family Focus Eyecare today.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve. This damage is often caused by high intraocular pressure, which compresses the optic nerve and causes cells to die. Often, this pressure increase is caused by fluid buildup in the eye.

The optic nerve is essential for sight. It transfers information from the retina to the brain. It’s the vital pathway between your eyes and your brain.

Types of Glaucoma

Open-Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. There are typically no warning signs or symptoms, and the disease develops without pain. Peripheral vision is often the first thing to deteriorate, so it can go unnoticed by people who do not have regular eye exams.

Open-angle glaucoma happens when the eye’s drainage channels become blocked over time. This causes fluid buildup and a rise in intraocular pressure. It can also be caused by an increase in fluid production.

When the cornea and iris move closer together and block the eye’s drainage channels, the result is angle-closure glaucoma. Those with smaller-than-average drainage angles are at an increased risk of developing this type of glaucoma.

Chronic angle-closure glaucoma occurs over time, while acute angle-closure glaucoma happens suddenly. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency.

If you experience the following symptoms, you may be having an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack:

  • Eye pain
  • Halos
  • Headache
  • Sudden blurry vision
  • Nausea

Damage to the optic nerve can occur even without increased intraocular pressure. When this happens, it’s known as normal tension glaucoma. The causes of normal tension glaucoma are unknown, but it could be caused by an overly sensitive optic nerve.

High intraocular pressure caused by trauma, previous surgery, or medication can lead to secondary glaucoma.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss before any symptoms are noticeable. Knowing these risk factors can give you a starting point to discuss glaucoma with your optometrist:

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Progressive refractive errors
  • Previous eye trauma
  • Corticosteroid medications
  • High internal eye pressure
  • Over 60

Treating Glaucoma

While vision loss from glaucoma can’t be reversed, glaucoma treatment can slow the progression of the disease and prevent blindness. Treatments often focus on lowering eye pressure to avoid damage to the optic nerve.

There are 2 main ways to reduce this pressure. 

The first is through prescription eye drops. Medication can either improve how fluid drains from the eye or decrease the volume of fluid produced altogether. 

Various types of surgery are the second option:

Regular Eye Exams Are the Best Prevention

At Family Focus Eyecare, we’re well-equipped to detect and diagnose glaucoma. Please book an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam today.

Visit Either of Our Locations

Columbia

Find our Columbia clinic in the Broadway Business park, near the Callaway Bank and the Regeneration Salon & Spa.

  • 3301 W Broadway Business Park Ct, Suite E
  • Columbia, MO 65203

Eldon

Our Eldon location is on Oak Street, two blocks north of the post office and between North and High Streets.

  • 115 N Oak St
  • Eldon, MO 65026

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