Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the US and can affect patients of all ages, many of who do not experience any symptoms and may not be aware that they have the disease. Glaucoma actually refers to a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve as a result of increased pressure within the eye, but can also be caused by a severe eye infection, injury, blocked blood vessels or inflammatory conditions of the eye. In a healthy eye, the fluid produced by the ciliary body circulates forward and drains through tiny passages called the trabecular meshwork. In people with glaucoma, these passages become blocked and intraocular pressure rises.
There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle and angle-closure. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma and involves fluid in the eye not draining properly through the trabecular meshwork. Angle-closure glaucoma involves a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye and poor drainage because the angle between the iris and the cornea is too narrow.
Many patients do not experience any symptoms during the early stages of glaucoma, including no pain and no vision loss. This makes it difficult for many patients to know if they have the disease. But as glaucoma progresses, patients may experience a loss of peripheral or side vision, along with sudden eye pain, headache, blurred vision or the appearance of halos around lights.
While some patients may experience symptoms from glaucoma as the disease progresses, others do not learn they have the condition until they undergo a routine eye exam. There are several different exams performed to diagnose glaucoma, including a visual field and visual acuity test. These tests measure peripheral vision and how well patients can see at various distances. Other tests may also be performed, such as tonometry to measure the pressure inside the eye and pachymetry to measure the thickness of the cornea.
The professional ophthalmologists of Levin Luminais Chronister Eye Associates are Pennsylvania's leading Glaucoma experts; contact them at one of their Chester County offices today for more information on Glaucoma evaluations and laser treatment options.
THE GREENVIEW PAVILION
3000 CG ZINN ROAD
THORNDALE, PA 19372
P : 610-384-9100
F : 610-384-3937
EYE DOCTORS OF CHESTER COUNTY
1175 Lancaster Avenue
BERWYN, PA 19312
P : 484-615-2020
F : 610-240-8903