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I Think I Have Glaucoma! What Should I Do?

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That depends… If you think you have glaucoma, the actions you should take vary depending on your symptoms and what type of glaucoma it is. There are actually a few types of glaucoma, the most common of which is open-angle glaucoma, which affects about 90% of all people diagnosed with this eye disease. Less common, but presenting much more of an immediate threat to your vision, is acute closed or narrow angle glaucoma. Although both types of glaucoma involve elevated pressure of your intraocular fluid, the symptoms and treatment for the different types of glaucoma are not the same.

To find out whether you really have glaucoma and which type it is, you need to visit an eye doctor. We can diagnose or rule out this dangerous eye disease by performing a comprehensive eye exam in our Copperas Cove, Texas, optometry office.

Do I have open-angle glaucoma?

One interesting fact about open-angle glaucoma is that it doesn’t generally cause symptoms until you’ve already suffered significant vision loss. That means once you notice a vision problem, the glaucoma was already there for a long time. Typically, the first sign of open-angle glaucoma is loss of side vision (peripheral vision). If you realize that your side vision isn’t clear, contact our Copperas Cove eye doctor to book an eye exam as soon as possible. If you do have glaucoma, the earlier you start treatment – the more effective it is against further vision loss!

What are the signs of acute closed glaucoma?

People who have acute closed glaucoma (also called narrow-angle glaucoma) often experience extreme eye pain that strikes quickly. Common symptoms include severe throbbing eye pain, headaches on the same side as the painful eye, ocular redness, blurred vision, halos around lights, dilated pupil, and nausea or vomiting.

If you have these symptoms – visit an emergency room immediately. Acute closed glaucoma can damage the optic nerve fast, sometimes within a few hours, and when left untreated the vision loss can be permanent. You may need surgery to open up the drainage canal in your eye so intraocular fluid can drain and lower your eye pressure.

What’s normal tension glaucoma?

In normal tension glaucoma, damage occurs to the optic nerve even though intraocular pressure remains normal. This type of glaucoma is a bit of a mystery, as doctors aren’t certain what causes the damage. Just like open-angle glaucoma, this type develops slowly and doesn’t present symptoms until it has been there for a while. Treatment usually involves surgery.

What happens at the eye doctor?

When you visit Cove Eyecare for glaucoma testing in Copperas Cove, our eye doctor will perform several tests. We’ll measure the pressure in your eye, test your peripheral vision, and use magnification to inspect your optic nerve for any signs of a problem. If you do indeed have glaucoma, the typical frontline treatment involves taking eye drops or pills to manage pressure levels. If medicine doesn’t work sufficiently, you may require laser surgery for glaucoma.

Remember, even if treatment is successful at lowering the fluid pressure in your eye, it’s not a cure for glaucoma. Treatment slows down or stops the progression of the eye disease, but you’ll need to return to our Copperas Cove, Texas, eye care clinic for regular eye exams to monitor the health of your vision.

At Cove Eyecare, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 254-549-1142 or book an appointment online to see one of our Copperas Cove eye doctors.

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