Glaucoma Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment in Columbia SC
At Eyes On the Lake, our Columbia optometrist staff meets hundreds of people every year who have or are at risk for glaucoma. This condition is not curable, but it can be treated and controlled, especially when you receive early and individualized treatment. Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and how our optometry team can help.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that can lead to vision loss due to optic nerve damage. The main type of glaucoma (open angle glaucoma) occurs when fluid inside the eye doesn't drain out properly. This can cause the pressure inside the eye to increase and lead to damage to the optic nerve where it connects to the back of the eye.
Other factors may contribute to the development of glaucoma, especially since doctors now know that a person can have normal inner eye pressure but still develop glaucoma. Risk factors for the condition include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, a history of eye surgery or trauma to the eye, family history, extreme myopia (nearsightedness), long-term use of steroid medications.
Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma does not usually have symptoms early on. Eventually, once damage to the optic nerve becomes advanced enough, a person may develop symptoms such as:
- Double vision
- Blind spots
- Loss of peripheral vision (tunnel vision)
- Photophobia (hypersensitivity to glare and bright lights)
These symptoms develop slowly over time. A different and much rarer type of glaucoma (called acute angle-closure glaucoma) presents with a sudden and severe onset of symptoms like severe headache, eye pain, and vision changes. This is a medical emergency, so if you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, get to a hospital or call 911 right away.
Treating Glaucoma With Our Columbia Optometrist
Did you know our Columbia optometrist can diagnose glaucoma even when you are not noticing any symptoms? We use advanced diagnostic technology to help us see inside your eye, measure your internal eye pressure, and look for other early warning signs.
The sooner glaucoma is diagnosed, the greater your chances are of slowing the disease progression and preserving your eyesight. Leading treatments for glaucoma include medicated eye drops, oral medications, and lifestyle interventions. We also can refer you out to specialists who can provide surgery if needed, educate you on low vision strategies, and prescribe eyeglasses to correct for any vision loss.
Call Eyes On The Lake Today
Call Eyes on the Lake at (803) 667-4760 to schedule a glaucoma screening today, or to visit with a Columbia optometrist for any other reason.