An estimated 3 million Americans have glaucoma, the second-leading cause of blindness around the world. Glaucoma has a well-earned nickname of “the sneak thief of sight,” because it can damage your eyes before you even realize you have the disease, so getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential for the best outcome.
To ensure you’re in the know about glaucoma and how to detect it and treat it, the expert team at Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology has put together five important facts you need to know.
Caused by a buildup of excess fluid
This fluid accumulates because there is a problem with the drainage system in your eyes. When the fluid builds up, the pressure in your eye increases. This pressure compresses the optic nerve, and this causes damage over time.
No symptoms until the disease has caused irreversible damage
In the beginning, this excess fluid causes no issues or symptoms, and then symptoms progress slowly. Signs of glaucoma usually only start appearing when the disease has progressed, and the damage that has been done is irreversible.
Only way to catch it early is to have regular eye exams
Because of the lack of symptoms early on, the only way to know if you have glaucoma is to go for regular eye exams. At your routine eye examination, your optometrist checks for glaucoma by testing the pressure in your eyes using a device called a tonometer.
If the pressure measures above 20 mmHg, you might have glaucoma and should have further tests. Not everyone with increased intraocular pressure has glaucoma, but it is a major risk factor.
Learn whether you are at a heightened risk
Glaucoma can develop in anyone, but certain risk factors increase the likelihood of it occurring in you. If any of these risk factors apply to you, it’s even more crucial that you schedule regular eye examinations.
- African Americans are more at risk and should have examinations for glaucoma earlier than people from other ethnic groups
- People over 60 are more at risk
- Mexican Americans also have an increased risk
- People with a family history of glaucoma should be extra cautious
Cannot be cured, but it can be treated
If your optometrist suspects glaucoma, don’t delay in making your appointment at Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology so we can assess your condition and treat your glaucoma quickly.
Although damage that has already happened can’t be reversed, our experienced team has been helping patients in Beverly Hills and the surrounding areas stop glaucoma in its tracks and save their sight for more than 30 years. You’re in safe hands with Drs. Khodabakhsh, Hofbauer, and Fox, who have a range of treatment options to explore with you.
Sometimes, you just need careful monitoring and prescription eyedrops to reduce the pressure in your eyes. But often, we need to turn to a surgical solution to resolve the drainage problem in your eyes, which will relieve the pressure. We offer different types of surgery:
SLT laser: A relatively pain-free option, the laser lessens intraocular pressure by widening the fluid’s channels in your eyes.
YAG PI laser: If you have narrow-angle glaucoma, also called angle-closure glaucoma, your eyesight is most at risk. This surgery involves making a small hole in the corner of your iris to improve how fluid moves through your eye.
Trabeculectomy: This is the most commonly performed glaucoma procedure. It involves creating a way for intraocular fluid to drain from inside the eye to the outside of the eye.
Whatever the best treatment option for your case, the team at Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology is here to help you understand your condition and help you manage it and stop the progression of the disease. To find out more about glaucoma treatment, call us or send us a message online to make your appointment at our Beverly Hills, California, office.