Glaucoma is a frustrating disease in that its onset is often marked with no symptoms or signs. It then progresses unabated until peripheral vision loss becomes more obvious. Left untreated, it will result in blindness.
Glaucoma also isn’t a disease so much as it is a group of related conditions that all cause damage to the optic nerve.
While glaucoma is a risk for all people, people with diabetes are considerably more at risk.
There are six types of glaucoma, each with their own set of treatments and symptoms. To learn more about the different types of glaucoma, click here.
In most cases, glaucoma is accompanied by high pressure in the eye. A tonometer is used during an eye exam to measure the intraocular pressure. A reading higher than 30mmHg indicates significant risk of vision loss from glaucoma unless treated.
Aside from clinical symptoms, glaucoma is deceptive in that it has no other obvious signs of its onset. It is not painful and produces no symptoms until there is noticeable vision loss.
The first step in treatment is a thorough eye exam. Once the type of glaucoma you have has been identified, an appropriate treatment plan will be created. It is important to stress the importance of diligent adherence to the plan. The most common cause of vision loss for people on a treatment plan is failure to stick to the treatment as prescribed.
Testing will including the use of a tonometer as well as visual field testing.
Treatments include eye drops that lower the eye pressure, laser therapy, medication, or surgery. Each treatment plan is unique as it is dependant on your stage of glaucoma.