Glaucoma refers to several different eye issues that damage a person’s optic nerve, which is absolutely crucial for good vision. The damage usually results from an abnormally high pressure within the eye that can, sometimes, be caused by an eye injury. Generally, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in patients older than 60, but it can affect people of any age. The symptoms are usually so gradual that you might only notice vision changes after the condition has advanced. Dr. Levine specializes in glaucoma in Hell’s Kitchen and can help you identify and manage the condition.
What Is Glaucoma?
As mentioned, glaucoma is a blanket term describing several conditions that damage the eye’s optic nerves. It is usually caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye but can also result from other less common causes. While anyone can develop the condition, it is more common in older patients. Glaucoma has no treatment but is preventable with early detection. Consequently, you should get tested regularly if you are at risk of developing the condition, especially if you are over the age of 60.
There are several types of glaucoma, and your doctor will usually treat you depending on the nature and severity of your symptoms. If left untreated, glaucoma will lead to loss of vision and blindness.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Since glaucoma has several types and stages, symptoms will usually vary depending on how advanced the condition is and which types you have. Open-angle glaucoma could cause tunnel vision (at an advanced stage) or patchy blind spots in your central or side vision, usually affecting both eyes. On the other hand, the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma could include:
- Eye pain
- Severe headaches and migraines
- Nausea and vomiting
- Seeing halos around lights
- Blurred vision
- Eye redness
Unfortunately, approximately 15 percent of patients diagnosed with glaucoma go blind within 20 years in at least one eye. Untreated cases always lead to eventual blindness. However, it is possible to manage and slow the advancement of these symptoms through early detection and treatment. This is why you should always promptly visit an eye doctor’s office if you experience any of the previously mentioned symptoms.
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
Glaucoma is usually treated using different approaches, depending on the severity of your symptoms. Dr. Levine of Russell Micah Levine, MD, used attentive, personalized care to help you manage your symptoms. He might recommend prescription eye drops that can be useful in reducing eye pressure. However, if the eye drops are ineffective, the doctor might prescribe oral medication. In some cases, you may also qualify for laser therapy. This type of treatment can be used as an initial intervention or even alongside eye drops for patients who qualify for laser therapy. The process involves using a laser beam to open clogged channels in your eye’s drainage system–the trabecular meshwork.
There are more than 3 million people in the United States are living with glaucoma? If you are one of these people or believe you are at risk of the condition, you should attend regular eye checkups and exams with a qualified eye doctor. Doing so will help you manage your symptoms, which, if left untreated, will eventually cause blindness. Russell Levine, MD, an expert ophthalmologist, offers attentive, personalized care for patients with glaucoma in Hell’s Kitchen Manhattan. Schedule a consultation online or call the New York City office today.