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Glaucoma Q&A

Q&A with our new Optometrist on staff, Dr. Radhakrishna Patel, who is a medically trained eye doctor.

  1. What is glaucoma?
    • Glaucoma is a slowly progressive eye disease that damages an important structure in the back of the eye called the optic nerve that is responsible for relaying sight information to the back of your brain.
  2. What causes glaucoma?
    • Glaucoma is caused by an increase in eye fluid pressure that is created in the front part of our eye that ultimately causes extra pressure towards the back of our eye consequently damaging the optic nerve.
  3. Who gets glaucoma?
    • Studies have shown that glaucoma primarily affects American Americans worldwide. There are various forms of glaucoma that can be associated with other ethnic groups, however, the most common form of glaucoma is primary open angle glaucoma in which African Americans are affected the most.
  4. How is glaucoma harmful to vision?
    • Glaucoma affects peripheral vision in the early stages leading to central vision loss in the late stages.
  5. Will I go blind from glaucoma?
    • Yes, glaucoma is a slowly progressive permanent blinding condition.
  6. How can I tell if I have glaucoma?
    • The most common symptom associated with glaucoma is peripheral blurry vision.
  7. How is glaucoma detected?
    • Glaucoma can be detected through your annual eye examination visits that include general vision testing such as peripheral testing and checking eye pressure. There are further specific testing that can be performed if warranted such as an OCT scan of your optic nerve and Humphreys visual field that test both your peripheral and central field of vision.
  8. How is glaucoma treated?
    • The first line of treatment for glaucoma are daily reducing eye pressure drops for the rest of your life to control your eye pressure. However, if instilling daily eye drops are difficult to perform, there are laser treatment options that can last up to 3 years without the need of using any eye drops during that period.
  9. Will my vision be restored after treatment?
    • Once the pressure in your eye has damaged your optic nerve and consequently your vision, that vision loss cannot be restored. However, daily eye pressure drops will lower your eye pressure in which further vision damage can be prevented.
  10. Can glaucoma be prevented?
    • The best preventative measure for glaucoma is getting your annual eye examination to monitor your eye pressures yearly.