Glaucoma is a condition that can affect adults of any age, and in rare cases can even affect children. The more you know about glaucoma, the easier it will be to protect yourself and your loved ones from this condition. In this FAQ, we'll address many of the common questions that our patients ask us about glaucoma.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition characterized by excess pressure in the eye. When this pressure builds, it damages the optic nerve. Over time, this damage can cause blindness.
What causes pressure to build up in the eye?
Glaucoma can develop for many reasons. Some cases of glaucoma occur as a result of other eye diseases, while other patients may have glaucoma as a result of genetic factors. Some lifestyle choices and medical conditions put some patients at a higher risk for glaucoma. Some of these risk factors include:
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Smoking habit
Can blindness from glaucoma be reversed?
Once a person who has glaucoma has lost his or her eye sight, this damage is irreversible. The only way to protect a patient from glaucoma-related vision loss is to catch the problem in its early stages and treat it before the vision loss occurs.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
In most types of glaucoma, there are no symptoms until the condition is advanced. In some types of glaucoma, and as glaucoma progresses, the following symptoms may be present:
- Sudden intense eye pain
- Blurry vision
- Seeing halos around lights
- Loss of peripheral or side vision
What can be done to treat glaucoma?
Glaucoma is not a condition that can be cured, however, it can be managed. Some common techniques for treating glaucoma include:
- Medicated eye drops
- Laser procedures
- Surgical procedures
How can you prevent glaucoma?
While there are no surefire ways to prevent glaucoma from developing, regular screenings and early detection are the best forms of protection. Patients should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years, especially if they have a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Older patients may be encouraged to be tested more frequently.
Where can you seek treatment for glaucoma in Springfield, Woodbridge and Burke VA?
If you live in Springfield, Burke or Woodbridge VA, you can get treatment for glaucoma at Eye Consultants of Northern Virginia PC. Patients seeking a capable, experienced ophthalmologist can make an appointment with our glaucoma specialist. We proudly serve Woodbridge, Springfield, Burke and the surrounding communities. Whether you've just been diagnosed with glaucoma or have been struggling to manage glaucoma for many years, our team can help. To find out more or to make an appointment with our doctors, contact us today.