Glaucoma, the Sneaky Thief of Sight
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which the optic nerve is damaged. At first, people experience peripheral vision loss, but if the disease remains untreated total blindness can occur over time. There are three types of glaucoma:
- Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is the most common form in the U.S. It usually affects both eyes at the same time. Your vision gets slowly and progressively worse and may be noticeable.
- Closed-angle glaucoma (CAG) is not very common in the U.S. It usually affects one eye at time. CAG can happen suddenly and be a medical emergency.
- Congenital glaucoma is a rare form of glaucoma that some infants have at birth.
What causes Glaucoma?
The exact cause is not known. However, in many cases, professionals think that increased pressure in the eye may cause the optic nerve damage. Yet, some people who have glaucoma have normal eye pressure. Additional risk factors for Glaucoma include eye injury, eye surgery and some medications.
What are the symptoms?
Each type of Glaucoma has different symptoms which can include peripheral vision loss, blurred vision, pain in or around the eye, red eyes, watery eyes or sensitivity to light. It is best to consult with eye doctor if any unusual symptoms occur.
Glaucoma is irreversible, meaning that it cannot be cured. Treatment for Glaucoma may include medications, laser treatment or laser surgery and regular checkups with your eye doctor.
PIH Health Physicians Optometrist, Dr. Jenny Kuan explains, “Many patients are not aware they are at risk for glaucoma since there can be no symptoms in the early stages. This is why I always recommend patients get their annual eye exams. If there is any suspicion of glaucoma at the initial exam, my patients will undergo more testing to determine if they will continue to be observed or, if treatment needs to be initiated. My glaucoma patients are monitored with frequent follow-up visits to ensure their individual treatment plan is working to preserve their vision”.
Visit PIHHealth.org/EyeCare or call 562.967.2820 to schedule an appointment at any convenient PIH Health location in La Habra, La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs or Whittier.