Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. It encompasses a group of conditions that can result in optic nerve damage. This damage causes loss of sight, even complete blindness.
Symptoms are usually non-existent but may include gradual loss of peripheral vision, or severe with acute episodes of eye pain, redness, and decreased vision. Early diagnosis and treatment is important in preventing or minimizing glaucoma-related vision loss.
Risk factors include age over 60, a family history of glaucoma, other medical conditions such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, nearsightedness, previous eye trauma, prolonged steroid use, and previous eye inflammation. African American and Hispanic ethnicities are at a greater risk as well.
Regular eye exams will aid in early detection of this condition. Specific tests will be used at these visits to assess if you have glaucoma or if you are at risk of developing glaucoma. Treatment of glaucoma include eye drops, pills, laser therapies, and even surgery with the goal of lowering the pressure in the eye.
We are fortunate to have a fellowship trained glaucoma specialist, Dr. E. Leigh Wilkinson, who will work with each patient to preserve vision.