Our North Richland Hills Optometrist Explains About Glaucoma Symptoms
Glaucoma is a condition in which elevated pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve, the one-and-only nerve conduit between the eye and the brain. This problem usually occurs when the eye's production of a fluid called the aqueous humor cannot be regulated properly by the drainage system at the front of the eye.
The resulting progressive damage to the optic nerve tissue leads to irreversible vision loss and potential blindness. Our optometry center, Advantage Eyecare, can help you understand the symptoms of glaucoma, diagnose the condition even before symptoms are present, and provide sight-saving treatment.
Different Symptoms for Different Types of Glaucoma
Different types of glaucoma can produce very different symptoms. The most alarming symptoms are produced by a relatively uncommon variety known as angle-closure glaucoma. In this form of glaucoma, the drainage angle between the conjunctiva and the iris stops functioning completely, causing a sudden increase in fluid pressure. This crisis causes sudden, acute symptoms such as:
- Hazy or blurred vision
- Appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights
- Severe eye pain
- Vomiting and nausea (often alongside eye pain)
- Sudden, significant vision loss
The majority of glaucoma sufferers have a slower-growing form of the disease known as open-angle glaucoma. In this condition, the drainage system is functional but too sluggish to maintain healthy fluid pressure. It can progress for years without presenting any obvious symptoms at all. As the optic nerve fibers are destroyed, you may experience patches of peripheral vision loss or "tunnel vision." Loss of central vision may then follow.
We Can Diagnose Glaucoma and Help You Get It Under Control
While open-angle glaucoma may not subject you to the same sudden, agonizing experience as angle-closure glaucoma, this delayed onset of symptoms can actually work against you by lulling you into a false sense of security about your eyesight. While you're putting off that eye exam because your eyes seem fine, permanent early-stage damage may be taking place. That's why regular eye exams at our North Richland Hills optometry center are so important. Your optometrist, Dr. Mark Schwartz or Dr. Arlene Schwartz, routinely includes several glaucoma testing techniques to check for signs of this disease, symptoms or no symptoms. These may include:
- Tonometry (pressure testing)
- Ocular coherence tomography to achieve digital measurements of your eye tissues
- Direct observation of the optic nerves with the aid of pupil dilation
- Peripheral vision testing
Glaucoma can be treated through measures such as eye drops and oral medications that help to reduce the amount of fluid produced by the eye and/or help the drainage system do its job better. If you're experiencing the acute symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma, it's especially critical that you get treatment immediately to prevent catastrophic vision loss.
Contact Our North Richland Hills Optometrist Today
Don't risk losing your eyesight to glaucoma. Call Advantage Eyecare today at 817-788-2020 to schedule an evaluation and/or treatment from either North Richland Hills optometrist on our team!