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Hawley, PA 570-226-1300

Glaucoma - The Silent Thief of Sight

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is complicated, progressive eye disease, often referred to as the “silent thief of sight”. It is characterized by its lack of symptoms until vision damage has already occurred.

The fluid inside our eyes, known as aqueous humor, flows out of the eye via a mesh-like channel. Glaucoma is the result of this channel becoming blocked or the fluid building up quicker than it drains.. The fluids builds up in the eye, increasing the pressure inside. The optic nerve is not meant to handle pressure of this magnitude and ends up damaged, leading to vision loss.

If you are experiencing high pressure in your eyes, don’t worry. It is not always a sign of glaucoma, though you should schedule an eye exam as you may be at risk. Like many things in life, it is better to be safe than sorry.

What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Glaucoma?

The following increase your risk factor for developing glaucoma:

  • Family medical history
  • Diabetes
  • Myopia or hyperopia
  • Age (40 years and older, with risk increasing significantly after the age of 60)

What Are The Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma can steal your vision gradually without any warning signs. When the signs do show, the symptoms of glaucoma are:

  • High eye pressure
  • Tunnel vision, a result of the gradual loss of peripheral (side) vision
  • Central vision loss, during the late stages of disease

How is Glaucoma Treated?

There are several options available for treating glaucoma. The type and stage of your glaucoma will determine the treatment prescribed by our Optometrist.

  • Prescription eye drops
  • Prescription oral medication (pills)
  • Trabeculoplasty (Laser Surgery) – A laser is used to subtly change the way your eye drains fluid. This allows the eye’s drainage system to function properly, reducing IOP (intraocular pressure).
  • Trabeculectomy (Conventional Eye Surgery) – A new opening is created in the eye to allow excess fluid to drain. IOP is lowered and pressure is taken off of the optic nerve.

If you are concerned about your risk for developing glaucoma, book an eye exam with our Optometrist. We would be happy to provide a comprehensive exam, answer all of our questions, and, if applicable, walk you through which course of treatment is right for you.