About Glaucoma near Sioux City, IA

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About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a category of conditions that can deteriorate the eye's optic nerve, which has the important job of transmitting visual data to the brain. When not treated early enough, glaucoma will often result in total loss of vision. It is nearly always caused by elevated pressure within the eye from fluid buildup.

Glaucoma predominantly affects men and women over the age of 60. Right now, close to two million U.S. citizens have glaucoma; however, many of them haven't been diagnosed. At first, glaucoma doesn't have any discernable symptoms and is frequently referred to as the "silent thief." Even though scientists haven't found a cure for the disease, it may be managed with early diagnosis and proper treatment.

Conditions, like glaucoma, are one reason why scheduling comprehensive eye exams no less than every other year is critical to your overall eye health. At Vance Thompson Vision, we have the most up-to-date diagnostic methods and are highly trained in the most innovative management techniques. If you are over 40 years of age, contact our office in South Sioux City, NE to schedule your eye exam today.

Glaucoma FAQs

Glaucoma Symptoms

The numerous types and degrees of glaucoma typically don't have any symptoms at all in the beginning. However, each type might also present one or two symptoms that feel minor or very disruptive. When glaucoma starts to advance, people might first notice changes, like reduced peripheral vision, hazy vision, headaches, and eye redness. As the disease advances, symptoms may start to include halos, tunnel vision, nausea, and pain in the eyes. As glaucoma typically doesn't show any symptoms in the beginning, receiving frequent, comprehensive eye exams is crucial to catching it early enough to slow vision loss.

Glaucoma Causes

All cases of glaucoma are the result of the deterioration of the optic nerve. Virtually always, this damage is the result of increased intraocular pressure from fluid buildup. In normally functioning eyes, the fluid essential to the eye tissue is able to drain from one area to another by the trabecular meshwork, the tissue that exists between the iris and the cornea. In some cases, this drainage can be obstructed or extremely slow, which results in fluid buildup.

The two most common types of glaucoma are categorized based on the state of the trabecular meshwork and the narrowness of the space between the cornea and iris. When the fluid buildup is due to a problem inside the trabecular meshwork, it is called open-angle glaucoma. If the retention is related to the drainage pathway between the iris and cornea being too tight or obstructed, this is diagnosed as narrow- or closed-angle glaucoma. Studies have proven that pressure-related glaucoma is often genetic. Beyond genetics and age, additional factors that could influence intraocular pressure include extended use of corticosteroid eye drops, extra thin corneal tissue, being African American, Hispanic, or Asian, and having particular health conditions, like heart disease. It is important to note that glaucoma can be caused by conditions other than eye pressure. When this happens, it is known as secondary glaucoma because it is a symptom of a separate underlying condition.

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

At Vance Thompson Vision, our ophthalmologists and optometrists conduct any necessary tests to determine whether a person has glaucoma. All of these tests are painless, very simple, and over with quickly. First, we will widen the pupils and maybe anesthetize the eyes using no-sting eye drops. Once the eye drops have done their job, your doctor will start conducting the tests, which will include evaluating the intraocular pressure (tonometry) and how thick the cornea is (pachymetry), measuring the width of the area between the iris and cornea (gonioscopy), evaluating and recording the condition of the optic nerve, establishing the patient’s field of side (peripheral) vision, and testing for any spots of vision loss.

Management Options

When a diagnosis of glaucoma is made, there are numerous techniques patients can use to successfully manage the condition. All of these techniques focus on alleviating intraocular pressure to avoid more harm to the optical nerve. The majority of people who are in the beginning stages of glaucoma can often delay or interrupt their vision loss by controlling glaucoma with daily eye drops.

For patients whose condition is further along, more involved treatments, such as MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery), laser procedures, and trabeculectomies, can potentially improve the condition a great deal. Whether we oversee these treatments or opt to refer our glaucoma patients to a separate specialist, the Vance Thompson Vision team is dedicated to establishing the best treatments for our patients' individualized ocular health requirements.

Relieve Your Glaucoma 

At Vance Thompson Vision, we utilize top-of-the-line technologies and techniques to diagnose and treat glaucoma. Our team is dedicated to ongoing glaucoma research and surgery initiatives, and our doctors have been nationally recognized for their work. Our goal is to help glaucoma patients halt the progression of their disease and enjoy their best possible vision and quality of life. To learn more and set up an appointment, contact our office in South Sioux City, NE.

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