what is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a progressive condition in which the optic nerve is damaged, leading to permanent loss of vision. Once the nerve tissue is damaged, there is no way to reverse the effects of glaucoma. The key in treating glaucoma is catching the condition in its early stages, and preventing further vision loss. During your comprehensive exam we screen for glaucoma. If risk factors are present, there will be an extended evaluation to assess how closely you need to be monitored. If there are glaucomatous changes in your scans, treatment will be initiated, and monitored closely.

types of glaucoma

  1. Primary open-angle glaucoma
    1. Most common form
    2. Due to elevated pressure or inadequate ocular drainage, open angle glaucoma causes slow and painless nerve damage in the early stages. Once the patient notices vision problems, they are most likely end-stage vision loss.
  2. Angle-closure glaucoma
    1. Less Common Form
    2. Also known as Narrow Angle Glaucoma
    3. There is physical blockage in the ocular drainage system, therefore causing the pressure to increase immediately. This is a medical emergency due to the fact it can cause vision loss immediately.
  3. secondary glaucoma
    1. Results from a variety of medical conditions, medications, physical injuries, and eye abnormalities.
  4. Normal- tension Glaucoma
    1. Eye pressure is within “normal'' range, but there is optic nerve damage present. The cause is yet unknown, but the key is screening during comprehensive exams and initiating treatment at the early stage.

am i at risk?

  1. Ages 60 and above are at increased risk
  2. African Americans are at risk for Open-Angle Glaucoma, and the risk factor further increased after age 40.
  3. Asian and Native Alaskan population is increased for Narrow-Angle and Low Tension Glaucoma.
  4. High Myopia
  5. Having a Family History will increase your risk of development.
  6. Conditions such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and heart disease can increase the risk or compound the issue further.
  7. Severe trauma, such as being hit in the eye, can result in immediate increased eye pressure. Internal damage can change the structure of the eye, which can lead to inefficiency in the ocular drainage system, in turn elevates the pressure.
  8. Prolonged use of corticosteroids (including cortisone, hydrocortisone, and prednisone) can cause secondary glaucoma.

glaucoma evaluation testing includes:

  1. Tonometry: used to evaluate the pressure in the eye.
  2. Gonioscopy: used to check the natural drainage angle of your eye.
  3. Dilated Fundus Exam: used to inspect the optic nerve tissue.
  4. Visual field test: used to evaluate your peripheral vision. Detects if you have any vision loss.
  5. OCT: used to examine the optic nerve on a microscopic level.
  6. Pachymetry: used to measure your corneal thickness.

Based on the results from the various tests, your doctor will evaluate your risk level of developing glaucoma or diagnose the type and stage of glaucoma you are presenting with.


  1. The key is to reduce the pressure in the eye. There are a few ways to achieve that.
    1. Topical drops to lower the eye pressure
    2. Laser Procedures to open up the ocular drainage system.
    3. Drainage Implants

There is no cure for glaucoma. Early detection, prompt treatment, and regular monitoring can help to control glaucoma and reduce the chances for vision loss.

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