Glaucoma is an eye condition that’s one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. For years, Eye Centers of Florida has been providing education and care to patients with glaucoma across our 11 Southwest Florida locations. We’re dedicated to helping you maintain your vision by detecting, managing, and treating glaucoma.
What is Glaucoma?
Optic nerve damage is commonly caused by high amounts of pressure on the eye. This is often due to the eye’s fluids failing to drain properly.
Types of Glaucoma
There are three main types of glaucoma:
- Primary open-angle glaucoma: The most common type of the disease and occurs when the drainage canals in the eye become clogged. It is the slowest developing glaucoma.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: Also known as acute glaucoma, is a rarer and fast-acting disease that causes rapid vision loss.
- Normal-tension glaucoma: Also known as low-tension glaucoma because damage to the optic nerve will occur even though the pressure in the eye is not that high. It’s often linked to genetic conditions like heart disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma
The signs and symptoms that signal glaucoma depend on the specific type and stage of the disease. Sometimes glaucoma damages your vision before symptoms are noticeable, which is why early detection is so important.
- Scattered blind spots in your peripheral or central vision
- Tunnel vision
- Sudden loss of vision
- Blurred vision
- Severe eye/head pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Halos around lights
- Eye redness
- Migraine headaches
- Low blood pressure
- Cold hands and feet
What Are Glaucoma Risk Factors?
More than three million people in the U.S. are living with glaucoma, and while anyone can develop the disease, some are at a higher risk. Those with a higher risk of developing glaucoma usually have one or more of the following traits:
- High eye pressure
- A family history of glaucoma
- Thin corneas
- African Americans over age 40
- Everyone over age 60, especially those with Hispanic heritage
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sickle cell anemia
These factors can differ based on your specific type of glaucoma. If you believe you’re at higher risk for developing glaucoma, an Eye Centers of Florida doctor can educate you on how to reduce your risk of losing your vision due to the disease.
Fort Myers Glaucoma Treatment and Surgery
There’s currently no cure for glaucoma, however, there are ways to treat the disease to ensure that it doesn’t progress any further.
Your doctor may prescribe you medicated eye drops or pills, which are common treatments for milder cases of the disease.
Surgical procedures are recommended to treat severe or quick-developing glaucoma.
Glaucoma Surgery in Fort Myers
We offer several laser eye surgeries to help treat the three primary types of glaucoma. Talking with a doctor can help you decide which laser treatment is best suited for your needs. The procedures we offer to treat glaucoma are:
- Laser trabeculoplasty: Helps drain fluid from your eyes which builds up with glaucoma. The results from this procedure can last for a few years.
- Laser cyclo-ablation: Reduces pressure in the eye by freezing the cells that produce fluid. This method is generally used when other treatments are not successful.
- Trabeculectomy: Creates a new pathway for fluid to drain from the eye through a small collecting bag near the upper lid into the capillary blood system.
- Aqueous shunts: Artificial drainage devices that are surgically placed in the eye to allow fluid to drain into a reservoir as an alternative to a trabeculectomy.
Can Glaucoma Be Prevented?
Glaucoma can be prevented by taking precautionary measures and making lifestyle changes. Regular eye exams are essential to preserving healthy eyes, as well as catching developing glaucoma as early as possible.
It’s important to know your family’s health history and if any of your relatives have a history of glaucoma. If your family is at high risk, you should have frequent glaucoma screenings so you can detect it as early as possible.
Other glaucoma preventions include establishing a regular exercise routine and protecting your eyes from anything that may cause physical eye trauma.
Why Eye Centers of Florida is the Right Choice for Glaucoma Treatment
At Eye Centers of Florida, we prioritize exceptional patient care, helping all our patients gain access to the qualified eye specialists and guidance they need to diagnose, manage, and treat glaucoma.
An eye exam is essential for anyone who feels like they may be suffering from glaucoma, as treatment needs to start as soon as possible to prevent further vision loss. Once you have your diagnosis, you can move forward with a customized treatment plan that will help you to effectively preserve your vision and keep your eyes healthy.
If you’re suffering from glaucoma, there’s no time to spare. Schedule an appointment today!