Glaucoma is a disease that overtime deteriorate your vision, eventually causing blindness. This disease damages the optic nerve, the main nerve of the eye, and is usually a result of poor drainage of normal eye fluid, creating increased eye pressure on the optic nerve. The pressure forces the optic nerve into a different shape, thereby damaging the nerve over time.
As the nerve is forced into a different shape, the vision will gradually decrease, eventually resulting in loss of vision. Peripheral vision (vision to the sides) is the first to be affected, following with central vision (vision straight ahead).
There are many types of glaucoma, but the two most common types are Open Angle Glaucoma and Closed Angle Glaucoma. Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. This occurs when the fluid can not get to the normal drainage canals and slowly results in fluid build-up and increased eye pressure. Closed Angle Glaucoma occurs when the opening to the drainage canals narrows, and quickly results in fluid build-up and increased eye pressure.
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, you are more at risk for developing glaucoma if you have any of the following:
- A history of glaucoma in your family
- Diabetes or arthritis
- High blood pressure
- Had an eye injury
- Are over age 60
- Ever used steroids
If you have any of the risk factors, or are just generally concerned about glaucoma, come in for an appointment with Dr. Mutyala to discuss your concerns and available options. Dr. Mutyala and his staff will check your symptoms and test your Eye Pressure, your visual field, the condition of your optic nerve and test the angle where your iris meets the cornea. These tests can be done at his office, are relatively quick and will likely include painless tests called Tonometry and Ophthalmoscopy.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, it can be controlled through surgery and medication. Early diagnosis is always best, so as soon as you believe you have any symptoms, or if you are at risk, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mutyala at one of our convenient locations.