The glaucoma service at Eye Doctors of Washington provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of all types of glaucoma. We are committed to glaucoma through clinical service, research and education.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve resulting in gradual progressive visual loss. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide and is the number one cause of preventable blindness. Because it is often a silent disease, it may progress for years without detection. Through early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, visual loss is highly preventable.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that slowly cause visual loss. In the early stages of glaucoma, there are no symptoms. Approximately half of the people in the US with glaucoma do not realized that they have it. Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve, or the nerve that connects the eye to the brain.
It was once thought that high pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure or IOP) was the main cause of glaucoma. Although IOP is clearly a risk factor, we now know that patients with normal pressure may experience visual loss from glaucoma.
There are several types of glaucoma:
Primary open angle glaucoma is the most common form, affecting about 3 million Americans. Most people have no symptoms or no warning signs. If not properly diagnosed and treated, it can cause a gradual loss of vision.Primary angle closure glaucoma may be acute, which is sudden and painful, or chronic which is asymptomatic. With angle closure, the drainage canals of the eye are occluded. A laser procedure may help unblock the drainage canals so that the extra fluid can drain.
Glaucoma has almost no early warning signs. Most patients have no indication that the pressure in their eyes is elevated or that their optic nerve is damaged until the disease is well advanced. Glaucoma affects peripheral vision first—meaning you could have “perfect” 20/20 vision but still have glaucoma. With Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG), peripheral vision is gradually lost while central vision is initially spared. The symptoms of closed angle glaucoma typically include the sudden onset of red and painful eyes, blurred vision, headache, and nausea.
People with any of the following risk factors should have their eyes regularly screened for glaucoma by an ophthalmologist:
Prevention is Key
Glaucoma does not have to result in blindness! This disease can be successfully treated and managed if caught in the early stages. Regular eye exams, including glaucoma screenings with advanced visual field and optic nerve analysis, are crucial to the early detection and treatment of the disease.At Eye Doctors of Washington, we are equipped with state-of-the-art glaucoma screening technologies and can offer many treatment options to glaucoma patients, including medication and advanced surgical techniques. Contact EDOW today to learn more about glaucoma prevention or to schedule a glaucoma screening.
Glaucoma-dc.com is part of the EDOW network of eye care sites. EDOW offers Lasik Washington DC, laser vision correction and other refractive eye surgery procedures in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland.
Copyright © 2005-2008 EDOW - All rights reserved