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Understanding Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a degenerative condition that, over time, weakens and damages a patient’s ability to see by directly affecting the optic nerve. Often the result of years of pressure building up in the eyes, glaucoma is typically an inherited issue and doesn’t show up until later in life.

What causes glaucoma?

The pressure that builds up in the eye leads to disruption of the optic nerve, resulting in potential loss of vision. Unless treated properly, glaucoma can result in total vision loss in patients.

This increase in pressure is often related to the poor circulation of frontal eye fluid. Other causes of glaucoma include severe eye infections, blocked blood vessels or other inflammatory eye conditions.

What are the treatment options for glaucoma?

Individuals over the age of 40 with a family history of glaucoma should make sure to schedule routine eye examinations. As this condition often develops silently, many individuals operate under the assumption that nothing is wrong.

If glaucoma is present, the most typical response is prescription eye drops and medication. However in more extreme cases, laser therapy and surgery may be required.

Who is at risk for glaucoma?

While it’s most common in individuals over the age of 40, glaucoma can also affect young adults and even children. Those with diabetes are more susceptible to glaucoma, as are those taking certain steroid medications, like prednisone.

Those of African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent are also  predisposed to glaucoma.

What are the symptoms?

While many glaucoma patients exhibit little to no symptoms, they can be present in more severe cases. Nausea and vomiting can occur in some cases, as can tunnel vision, redness around the eyes, eye pain and seeing “halos” around lights.

Contact Dr. Stefano To Learn More About Your Eye Health.

For more information regarding glaucoma, contact us today and schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Winchester, serving Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland, and you can reach us directly at (540) 722-6200. We look forward to hearing from you!

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