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Serving Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond & nearby areas of Oklahoma
At Hummel Eye Associates in Oklahoma City, our doctors have been diagnosing and treating glaucoma for over 35 years, and have managed to save many people’s vision.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, and can quietly creep up on older adults. There are no symptoms at first, which is why glaucoma testing is to vital.
There are several types of glaucoma, but they all concern pressure inside the eyeball, or intraocular pressure (IOP). Our eyes are filled with fluid. In a healthy eye, there’s a drainage system that allows fluid to dissipate as necessary. The fluid in a glaucomatous eye doesn’t drain adequately, so the pressure becomes too high, threatening the integrity of the optic nerve.
Optic nerve damage
The optic nerve is large and exits from the retina, taking image information to the brain. Glaucoma causes vision loss and blindness by damaging the delicate nerve.
Types of glaucoma
The rate at which vision loss advances and the best treatment method depend on the type of glaucoma you have.
- Open angle – progresses slowly. Drainage canals are clogged deep inside preventing fluid from flowing out of the eye.
- Angle closure – progresses quickly. The iris blocks the drainage canals
- Congenital – the drainage system of the eye does not develop properly before birth.
- Normal tension – IOL is within normal range, but optic nerve is still damaged.
Since there are no early warning signs of glaucoma, the best way to prevent vision loss is through regular eye exams. Those who are at high risk for the disease must be especially vigilant. Risk factors include:
- Family history of glaucoma
- Age (over 60)
- Race (African American, Hispanic, Asian)
- Eye injury
- Steroid use
- Sleep apnea
Most of the time, specific glaucoma eyedrops are prescribed. When used daily, they keep the intraocular pressure down to non-harmful levels.
Depending on the type of glaucoma you have, laser surgery may be appropriate. The tiny drainage holes can sometimes be enlarged to facilitate better drainage and lower the intraocular pressure. In some cases the condition can only be managed, in order to prevent vision loss. In others it can be fully treated so no damage occurs.
Hummel Eye Associates has been offering glaucoma treatment to Oklahoma residents since 1969. If you are at risk for glaucoma, we can help you preserve your vision. Contact us today and schedule your free initial consultation.