Glaucoma and your eyes! Our eyes are amazing!  They function in a variety of extremely complicated processes.  The many intricate details of their function, although fascinating, also lend themselves to many opportunities for errors.  If even one component falters, it can greatly impact your vision.  The pressure inside your eye, for example, can change quickly and impact your vision permanently.  Glaucoma is a condition where the ocular pressure is so high that it causes damage to the optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss.

Types of Glaucoma

There are two main types of Glaucoma, open-angle and angle-closure.  Both types affect the fluid and pressure in the eye.  Our eyes are filled with two different fluids that fill the smaller chamber, located in front of the lens of the eye, as well as the larger chamber located behind.  In a healthy eye, the pressure within these fluids is able to maintain stability through the fluid draining at about the same rate it is produced.  Glaucoma occurs when there is interference in the draining of the fluid, causing the pressure to escalate to dangerous levels.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

When the the drainage canals get clogged over time, it is identified as open-angle glaucoma.  This is a very slow process, so slow that  you may not even noticed it is happening.  This type of glaucoma accounts for 90% of all glaucoma cases.  Routine eye exams performed by Dr. Smith check for this type of glaucoma and can be caught and managed early on.  This is one reason it is so important to get annual eye exams.  The damage done by glaucoma cannot be repaired, however, when caught early, it can be managed.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Differing from open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma occurs suddenly.  This happens when the drainage canals in the pupil get blocked directly by the iris.  There are multiple symptoms associated with angle-closure.  You might experience eye pain, headaches, very blurry vision, nausea, and rings or rainbows around lights.  If you experience these symptoms suddenly, call us right away.

Early Diagnosis Is Key

When dealing with a disease that permanently disables your vision, you do not want to take any chances.  Routine annual exams can watch for and catch glaucoma at early stages.  From there treatments can begin and help to manage its damaging effects.  Call us to schedule your annual exam today.  435.359.2020

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