Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss which involves progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve. Fortunately, glaucoma is highly treatable. The key to preventing serious vision loss or blindness from glaucoma is early detection. An annual fully-dilated eye examination is recommended.
Glaucoma is characterized by a loss of nerve fibers in the optic nerve, the main “power cord” which sends visual impulses to the brain. Usually it is related to high intraocular pressure in the eye, but sometimes the damage occurs even when the pressure is normal or low. Eventually, as the disease becomes more severe, peripheral vision becomes damaged or lost, resulting in “tunnel vision.” The goal of glaucoma treatment is to prevent any further loss of vision by lowering the intraocular pressure.
Although we still do not have all of the answers about glaucoma, we are constantly learning more. The Eye Center utilizes exciting new computer technology called OCT which allows us to detect glaucoma damage long before it causes vision loss. Beyond the traditional therapy of lowering eye pressure, better medicines protecting and improving blood flow to the nerve fibers are also becoming available.