Eyecare Professionals

Optometrists located in Mandan, Hazen & Washburn, ND

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the world. It’s a dangerous condition that causes irreversible vision loss, and there are few early warning signs. Regular comprehensive eye exams are the only way to detect glaucoma and preserve your vision long-term. Turn to the expert team at Eyecare Professionals in Mandan, Hazen, and Washburn, North Dakota, for glaucoma detection, prevention, and treatment. Call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online.

Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma damages your optic nerve over time. Your eyes have pressure inside them, called intraocular pressure. If the pressure builds up and gets too high, it damages the optic nerve and causes vision loss. 

The most common forms of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure. With both types, pressure builds in the eye when fluid can’t drain normally.

Open-angle glaucoma

This is the most common form of glaucoma. If you have open-angle glaucoma, your eye’s drainage structure is clogged. Fluid drains slowly, and pressure builds in your eye. 

Open-angle glaucoma is often painless and vision loss occurs gradually. The only way to detect this type of glaucoma early is through regular comprehensive eye exams. 

Angle-closure glaucoma

This type of glaucoma develops when your iris blocks the eye’s drainage system. Chronic angle-closure glaucoma develops over time and it’s often difficult to notice symptoms before significant vision loss has occurred. 

If the drainage angle is completely blocked, your eye pressure rises very quickly. Acute angle-closure glaucoma occurs suddenly and is considered a medical emergency. This type of attack can cause nausea, vomiting, and permanent blindness if not treated quickly.

What are the signs of glaucoma?

Unfortunately, glaucoma doesn’t have many noticeable symptoms until you’ve already suffered vision loss. Getting regular eye exams to evaluate the health of your eyes and your eye pressure is the only way to identify glaucoma early. 

The first noticeable sign of glaucoma is typically reduced side, or peripheral vision. For acute angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms are severe and can include eye pain, blurry vision, nausea, and headache. 

Because there aren’t many early signs of the condition, it’s important to learn the risk factors for glaucoma. Glaucoma risk factors include:

  • Being over age 40
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Poor vision
  • High eye pressure

If you’re at risk for glaucoma, you should get a full eye exam annually to protect your health.

How is glaucoma treated?

Glaucoma treatment focuses on lowering and managing the pressure inside your eyes to reduce optic nerve damage. The doctors at Eyecare Professionals may prescribe eye drops that limit fluid production in your eye or help fluid flow out to lower eye pressure.

In some cases, laser surgery might be recommended to increase fluid drainage in patients with glaucoma. Microsurgery is another treatment option that involves creating a new drain in the eye.

The team at Eyecare Professionals can help you find the right glaucoma treatment for your eyes, preventing the irreversible damage and vision loss associated with the disease. 

Make regular eye exams a habit and protect your eyes from glaucoma-related blindness. Book an appointment online or by phone today.