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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that is associated with damage to the optic nerve. The most important risk factor is intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. If left untreated, glaucoma progresses to blindness.

Symptoms

Glaucoma is often referred to as “the thief in the night” because there are usually no symptoms. Sometimes glaucoma symptoms do occur as in acute narrow angle. Symptoms can include blurred vision, halos, pain, and nausea. These symptoms constitute an eye emergency in order to prevent permanent vision loss.

Glaucoma Screening

During your complete eye exam, your ophthalmologist will identify whether or not you are a glaucoma suspect. This includes measuring your intraocular pressure and looking at your optic nerve. Other screening tests include a visual field test and optic nerve coherence tomography.

Types of Glaucoma

The two major groups of glaucoma include primary open angle glaucoma and acute angle closure glaucoma. Other forms of glaucoma include congenital glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, and normal tension glaucoma.

Treatment

Glaucoma treatments are aimed at lowering intraocular pressure. Eye drops, such as Lumigan® or Alphagan® are used first, with other treatment options being laser and surgery.