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Who & What is a Glaucoma Suspect?

Glaucoma Treatment in Copperas Cove

woman with eyes closed in Copperas Cove, TXGlaucoma suspects are not hard to find and discover. In the United States alone, the number of glaucoma suspects Is estimated to be several million. Who are these people, and what does it this term mean?

Glaucoma suspects are people at risk for this disease, but no damage has yet been detected. In fact, the vast majority of glaucoma suspects will never suffer damage. However, if your vision does become affected by glaucoma, the vision loss is irreversible. That’s why it is critical for everyone to visit our Copperas Cove eye doctor for regular eye exams. Dr. Micheline Young will inspect the eyes and optic nerve of all glaucoma suspects closely to determine whether or not glaucoma treatment is required.

What are the signs of a glaucoma suspect?

Several risk factors and reasons contribute to the classification of a patient as a glaucoma suspect. These include:

  • Elevated intraocular pressure (above normal values)
  • Strong history of glaucoma in the family
  • Optic nerve has a suspicious appearance
  • Aging
  • Ethnic background (African-American or Hispanic)
  • Corticosteroid use, especially eye drops
  • Certain eye conditions, such as a thin cornea or nearsightedness

A firm diagnosis of glaucoma is generally made over time, since most types of this disease progress slowly. It is important to note that when we discuss glaucoma suspects, we are referring to “open-angle” glaucoma, which is the more common form of the disease.

What is the follow-up eye care for glaucoma suspects?

Once a baseline status of your ocular health is determined by your eye doctor, you will be instructed to return for follow-up eye exams. These evaluations will inspect for any changes to your optic nerve, internal eye pressure, and visual field.

What is glaucoma treatment?

eye dropper in Copperas Cove, TXIf you are a glaucoma suspect, our Copperas Cove eye doctor will determine when to start glaucoma treatment, as well as the most appropriate type of glaucoma treatment for you. In order to make these decisions, we will advise you to return for repeated eye exams to monitor your eyes. We will assess your risk factors along with the eye exam results to make a responsible clinical judgement about your glaucoma treatment.

Early treatment options include medicated eye drops or a laser procedure to widen the drainage angle of your eye. The goal of both of these methods is to lower eye pressure. The good news is that when glaucoma treatment is required and started early, your risk of serious complications and vision loss is minimal.

If you’ve been told that you are a glaucoma suspect, the best action to take is to return to your Copperas Cove eye doctor for regular monitoring of your optic nerve and visual field. Whether or not you are currently receiving glaucoma treatment, these eye exams are critical for your lasting eye health and vision!