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Why You Should Never Ignore the Symptoms of Glaucoma

Mitchell C. Latter, MD is a board-certified ophthalmologist providing exceptional eye care services for children and adults at his offices in Bellflower and South Pasadena, California. Recognized for his skill in treating serious eye conditions, including glaucoma, Dr. Latter provides insight regarding the condition, the symptoms you may experience, and what it means for your vision.

Understanding glaucoma

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60. There are several types of glaucoma, each of which affects your optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits signals from the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye (retina) to your brain. Your brain then translates these signals into the images you see.

Glaucoma causes abnormal fluid buildup in your eye that results in increased pressure on the optic. This can cause blind spots in your visual field and lead to total loss of vision as the disease progresses.   

Types of glaucoma include:

Glaucoma is most common in adults, particularly in those over 60, but it’s also possible for young adults or children to develop glaucoma.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Depending on the type, symptoms can vary. Unfortunately, early signs of glaucoma are often quite subtle and easily missed. An abnormal test result during a comprehensive eye exam is the best way to diagnose glaucoma early.

You may be familiar with the puff test used during an eye exam to detect glaucoma. Dr. Latter uses advanced testing to more accurately measure the pressure within your eye as well as the health of your optic nerve. This makes it possible to detect deterioration of the optic nerve even when eye pressure appears normal.

With open-angle glaucoma, you may notice blind spots in your central or side (peripheral) vision and tunnel vision when it becomes advanced.

Angle-closure glaucoma often causes:

Because acute (sudden) angle-closure glaucoma can result in the complete and sudden loss of vision, it’s considered a medical emergency.

What are the risk factors for glaucoma?

While it’s often asymptomatic until your vision is severely compromised, you can monitor your risk factors for developing glaucoma, which include:

Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure also increase your risk of developing glaucoma.   

What is the treatment for glaucoma?

We can’t restore vision lost to glaucoma. We can, however, stall its progress and protect your remaining vision with treatments that may include medicated eye drops, laser therapy, or minimally invasive surgery to relieve pressure within your eye. 

Comprehensive eye exams that include advanced testing for glaucoma are our most effective tool for detecting glaucoma early, when treatment is most effective. 

If you’re concerned about glaucoma, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Latter today. Call the office or request an appointment online.

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