Retired School Teacher Lane Russell - Glaucoma Patient
Glaucoma is a permanent eye disease. It is usually painless and if left untreated, can lead to permanent blindness. However, the doctors at Mecklenburg Eye Associates can employ several methods and treatments that can help keep Glaucoma in check. Our goal is to diagnose this disease early and lower the pressure before any vision loss occurs.
This is one of the many reasons why having regular eye exams is important – especially for people over the age of 40.
Glaucoma develops when more aqueous humor (the clear liquid in the front part of your eye) flows into your eye than drains out. This causes a build-up of pressure, permanently damaging the optic nerve and causing vision loss, which is usually painless. There are two major types:
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common type. It is a gradual process where fluid drains, but not as well as it’s supposed to (think of a slightly clogged sink). Pressure gradually increases and damages the optic nerve. There is rarely pain during this process, so a person may not be aware of the condition, until it starts to affect vision.
Angle-Closure Glaucoma is the condition where one’s iris is very close to the drainage angle, completely stopping the flow (think of someone putting a plug on that sink). Pressure can rise very quickly resulting in an Acute Glaucoma Attack - severe eye pain, blurry vision, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms. Many people can develop this gradually with no real symptoms until a full-on attack.
Your Mecklenburg Eye Associates doctors conduct a number of tests to detect Glaucoma: measure eye pressure, inspect drainage angle, examine your optic nerve, peripheral vision tests, and other methods the doctor may decide are necessary.
Depending on type and severity, a variety of methods are available to lessen eye pressure caused by Glaucoma and help preserve your sight. The most common treatment is prescription eye drops to relieve the pressure. Laser surgery, drainage stents, and other surgical procedures may also be necessary. As always, good eye care is a collaboration between you and your doctor. Feel free to ask questions so you fully understand your condition and all your options.