With early detection, glaucoma is highly treatable, but the only way to know whether you have it is to get screened. By the time glaucoma causes noticeable changes to your vision, it has done permanent damage to your optic nerve. At Great Neck Opticians in Great Neck, New York, highly skilled optometrists Yelena Pinkhasova, OD, and Eleonora Tamayeva, OD, detect and treat glaucoma. To schedule a glaucoma exam or learn more about treatment options, schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerves, which connect your eyes to your brain. Your optic nerves deliver visual information from your retinas to your brain, allowing you to see images. Glaucoma progressively damages your optic nerve and can cause blindness if left untreated.
The cause of glaucoma is a buildup of a fluid known as aqueous humor. Your eyes need aqueous humor for a number of processes, including nourishing your corneas and regulating the pressure in your eye.
When aqueous humor can’t enter and drain from your eyes freely, it builds up, leading to excess pressure in your eyes. As glaucoma progresses, this pressure worsens, causing gradual damage to your optic nerves.
Glaucoma usually affects both eyes, but not necessarily at the same pace. One eye may have more pressure, and therefore more damage, than the other.
Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight” because it doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. By the time glaucoma begins to affect your vision, it has already caused permanent damage to your eyes. It first causes patchy blind spots in your peripheral (side) vision. Eventually, untreated glaucoma may lead to full blindness in one or both eyes.
Prevention is the most effective glaucoma treatment. You should get screened every two years, as part of your regular eye exam, starting at age 65. If the disease runs in your family, or if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you should start getting screened earlier, as young as age 40.
Though there’s no way to reverse vision damage from glaucoma, don’t lose hope. Treatment may not be able to restore lost vision, but you can reduce eye pressure and prevent further vision damage. The sooner your glaucoma is detected, the more vision you can preserve.
Dr. Pinkhasova and Dr. Tamayeva treat glaucoma with prescription eye drops, which can either decrease fluid production in your eye or help fluid to drain, both of which can relieve pressure. If drops aren’t enough, they may refer you to an ophthalmologist for surgery. Glaucoma surgery structurally improves the drainage channel in your eyes, allowing fluid to enter and exit more easily.
To schedule a glaucoma screening or learn more about treatment options, call Great Neck Opticians or use the online booking tool.