Glaucoma is a serious disease and a leading cause of blindness, yet it’s often misunderstood. Charles D. Woods, MD, of Eye and Cataract Associates in Decatur, Alabama, provides the diagnostic and management services necessary to preserve your vision. A glaucoma screening is a critical part of routine eye examinations, so make your eye health a priority by scheduling an exam today. Online scheduling is available, or you can call the office.
Glaucoma is a disease where excess fluid accumulates in the front portion of your eye, creating undue pressure that damages your optic nerve. There’s no cure for glaucoma, which is a leading cause of blindness both in the United States and around the world.
According to data compiled by the Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group, as many as 3 million Americans are living with glaucoma, yet only 50% of those individuals are aware they have it. Early diagnosis is critical to getting started on the right treatment path. Proper treatment can help reduce the risk of vision loss.
There are two primary types of glaucoma, each with different treatment paths. They’re commonly called open-angle and closed-angle.
This is the most common type of glaucoma and occurs when fluid doesn’t drain properly, gradually increasing eye pressure.
This type of glaucoma occurs suddenly when eye drainage becomes completely blocked and pressure rises very quickly. If not treated immediately, it can result in blindness.
If you develop closed-angle glaucoma, also referred to as angle-closed or narrow-angle glaucoma, you might experience:
Open-angle glaucoma, however, presents no symptoms in the early stages. The only way to detect the condition is with a comprehensive eye examination.
Eyedrop medication is one way to treat glaucoma. Some prescription drops work by reducing the volume of fluid in your eye, and some improve eye drainage. Dr. Woods has multiple treatment options and prescribes the best medications for your needs.
Laser surgery is another treatment option and works by improving your eye’s ability to drain fluid. Dr. Woods uses a medical laser to precisely alter the tissues in your eye to allow fluid to drain more freely.
Another surgical solution is called trabeculectomy and involves creating a tiny opening in your eye wall and a small flap of skin to control fluid release. It’s also possible to surgically implant drainage devices, including tube shunts, to create a path for fluid to exit the eye.
If you’re overdue for an eye exam, book an appointment with Dr. Woods as soon as possible. Routine glaucoma screenings can identify the condition early when treatment has the best chance of slowing vision loss and preserving eye health.