The Dangers of Glaucoma

We put a lot of trust in our eyes. They keep us out of danger, observe the beauty and wonders of the world, and serve as a window into our personalities. But what happens when the pressure on our eyes gets too great?

Glaucoma is a disorder in which the optic nerve is pushed beyond its limits, suffering irreparable harm and loss of vision. These damages can never be reversed, but they can be prevented and slowed as much as medically possible. Awareness is your greatest weapon against this threat to your precious eyesight.

Under Pressure

In a healthy eyeball, a fluid called aqueous humor flows between the lens and the cornea. This acts as a filtration system, of sorts, and must maintain a healthy balance in order to sustain optimal functionality. However, when the aqueous humor fails to drain properly, it builds up pressure and causes complications. This is the definition of glaucoma.

The longer the disorder rages on, the worse it ravages your health. Understanding your risks and addressing your situation can help stave off the worst ramifications of glaucoma.

Types of Glaucoma

While glaucoma is defined generally as a build up of pressure in the eyeball, there are various ways in which this can occur.

  • OPEN ANGLE – This phenomenon occurs when the angle between the iris and cornea stays open, but the fluid flowing between the two gets trapped by your trabecular meshwork (the tissue lining the angle of connection). It is the most common form of glaucoma and happens so gradually that vision loss can occur before you are aware of any problem.
  • CLOSED ANGLE – If the iris bulges forward, it can close the angle of drainage between itself and the cornea. Acute angle closure can be caused by sudden pupil dilation and it is a medical emergency; see a doctor immediately.
  • NORMAL TENSION – If your aqueous humor flows normally, you can still suffer from glaucoma if your optic nerve fails to get the blood supply it needs. This can be caused by an excess of fatty deposits in your arteries and gets worse over time.
  • PIGMENTARY GLAUCOMA – Overexertion can release a flood of pigment granules from your iris which then get trapped in your trabecular meshwork, thus causing a blockage between the iris and cornea.

Early Detection

Patients who suffer from open-angle glaucoma report instances of tunnel vision and patches of vision loss in their periphery. Do not ignore these glaucoma symptoms. Routine eye exams can determine if you are experiencing the early stages of glaucoma. Ophthalmologists recommend glaucoma screenings every four years for individuals 40 years and over, then every two years for those 65 and up. The two-year rule also applies to those genetically predisposed to glaucoma risk factors. Know your family history; know your risks.

Angle closure induced glaucoma is a more pressing matter. Glaucoma symptoms include headaches, nausea, blurry vision and seeing halos around light sources. Consult a doctor immediately if you believe you are experiencing these issues.

Glaucoma Treatment

The bad news: once glaucoma has set in, its damage can’t be reversed. The good news: the spread of glaucoma can be drastically slowed through treatments such as eye drops, medications, drainage, and other surgical means. Early testing is the best way to prevent the disease from ravaging your eyesight, so check for the warning signs and contact a physician with any and all concerns.

When glaucoma is ignored, it inevitably leads to blindness. Even among those patients who seek medical help, blindness in at least one eye will occur within 20 years of the disease’s onset. Don’t be a statistic; get ahead of glaucoma before it gets the best of you.

For vision that you have to see to believe and more about cataract surgery in Orange County, contact Advanced Eye Medical today!

Pain Behind the Eyes: What are the Causes?

Whenever a new pain starts, it causes anxiety and we immediately look for answers. This is especially true with pain behind the eyes; the thought of losing vision is a horrifying one for most of us. Luckily, most causes for pain behind the eyes can be simple and benign, but there are a few cases where it can be a medical emergency.

If you believe you could be having a medical emergency, contact a medical professional and seek treatment immediately. Here are some possible causes for pain behind the eyes:

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is simply an inflammation of a sinus cavity, which can be caused by myriad issues, most of them benign. Since our sinus cavities are so near the eyes and can cause headaches, they can cause pain that feels like it is coming from behind the eye. Sinusitis can be caused by allergies, bacterial or viral infections, and other less common issues like cancer of the sinuses. If you have a cold, allergy symptoms, or a sinus infection and are experiencing pain behind your eyes, it should be transient. Medications that relieve inflammation may help, as well as treating the underlying condition.

Headache

Most pain behind your eyes is caused by headaches, which can be caused by countless conditions. For patients with vision issues, this can be a common occurrence. Correcting your vision with LASIK can remedy this problem in the long term, providing relief and often perfect vision.

Some other causes for headaches include: stress, dehydration, and a lack of sleep. Straining your eyes to read small text or see far away objects can also cause shooting pains behind your eyes as your nerves and muscles work harder.

Glaucoma

The inside of your eye is filled with fluid, and when that fluid’s pressure becomes too high, this causes a condition known as glaucoma. Most cases of glaucoma are in fact painless, so this usually isn’t the case. Glaucoma can cause vision blurring, distortion, and even blindness. Glaucoma can be considered a medical emergency. If you notice changes in your vision with your eye pain, it is necessary to seek treatment to ensure your vision is undamaged.

Dry Eyes

One of the most common and easily treated reasons for eye pain is dry eyes. Light sensitivity and headaches are common. Try over-the-counter remedies to lubricate your eyes and see if they improve. If this works, but you find yourself using the drops daily, you may have a larger condition causing the dry eyes and should see an eye doctor ASAP.

Optic Neuritus

Optic neuritis is when the optic nerve becomes inflamed. This condition can be a sign of multiple sclerosis, which is a degenerative neurological disease. Prolonged eye pain should always be evaluated by a doctor to ensure nothing serious is causing your discomfort. Most of these conditions can be managed or mitigated to preserve your vision. This kind of inflammation can also be caused by infection, so do not jump to worst-case scenarios.

Irisitis

The Iris is the colored muscle surrounding the pupil of your eye. When this muscle becomes inflamed by irritation or infection, it can easily cause deep eye pain. Blurred vision and light sensitivity are signs of Irisitis.

When to Consult an Eye Doctor

If the pain is unbearable, you should seek emergency medical attention, as certain deadly conditions or blindness inducing conditions can occur acutely. For prolonged eye pain, seeing your doctor is a good idea to eliminate the possibility of any infection or underlying condition.

If it is simply a case of poor vision putting too much strain on your eyes, correcting your vision is the best option. LASIK is a procedure that can permanently improve your vision to perfect levels. Contact Advanced Eye Medical today for an appointment or consultation!

Is There Hereditary and Non-hereditary Glaucoma?

The term glaucoma refers to a series of diseases that irreversibly damage the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness, if left untreated. One significant risk factor is increased pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world after cataracts. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, and there are no fundamental difference between hereditary and non-hereditary forms of the disease. However, those that are genetically predisposed to glaucoma are at higher risk of contracting the disease. Here is a list of other high-risk groups for developing glaucoma.

Family History

Individuals with a history of glaucoma in their family are 4 to 9 times more likely to develop the disease themselves. Family history is one of the primary risk factors for developing glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of this disease and up to 10% of all cases have been linked to genetic mutations. In addition primary congenital glaucoma which affects children from birth to three has also been associated with genetic mutations as well. It is important to note that, even if you carry these genetic abnormalities, it does not mean you will develop glaucoma, however, you do have a higher risk of developing it.

Glaucoma, usually, affects the elderly. However, when a young person develops glaucoma it is almost always hereditary. This is important because the young who are when you develop the disease the higher your eye pressure tends to be. This makes treating the disease more difficult than usual.
Anyone with a family history of glaucoma should talk to an eye care professional and be tested for the disease. The sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated.

Eye Injury

Those who sustain injury to the eye or experience a scratch on the cornea can develop secondary open angle glaucoma either right after the injury or years down the line. For those who sustain blunt force trauma to their eyes that caused bruising or sustained an injury that punctured the eye may develop traumatic glaucoma. This is mainly seen in sports injuries, particularly those experienced by boxers and football players. Glaucoma mediation is usually used to treat traumatic glaucoma, however if this does not prove successful surgery may be necessary. In addition, other eye conditions such as nearsightedness can cause eye injuries to be more serious.

Others at Risk

• People over 60
• Those who are nearsighted.
• Those taking any steroids at high doses.
• Those who have certain medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or sickle cell anemia.
• Those who have early onset estrogen deficiency.
• Those who have used eye drops over an extended period of time.

Glaucoma is often called the “sneak thief” of sight because the disease slowly deteriorates your sight, with little to no symptoms. Some symptoms can be blurry vision, headache, dizziness and nausea. This is why it is important for anyone, with high risk for developing glaucoma, to get regular eye exams.

If you fall into one of these high-risk categories and are experiencing symptoms, or simply just have questions and concerns about glaucoma, feel free to Dr. Ghosheh, today, at 1-888-439-6565. To schedule a consultation, or appointment, go to laserforeyes.com.

Healthy, Happy Eyes: Understanding Glaucoma

Maybe you’ve never heard of glaucoma. Maybe you’ve heard of it and even been screened for it by your eye doctor, but you aren’t quite sure what it is. Glaucoma is something everyone should know about. Why? Here are 4 good reasons from glaucoma.org:

  • Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness
  • There is no cure and the disease cannot be reversed
  • There may be no symptoms
  • Everyone is at risk for glaucoma

Understanding certain facts about glaucoma can help you prevent the onset of the disease and keep your eyes healthy and happy.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma actually refers to a group of diseases that all have the same effect. The most common type is called open-angle glaucoma. Essentially, the optic nerve, which connects the retina to the brain, gets damaged, leading to vision impairment or loss. The damage to the optic nerve results from too much pressure in the eye. Elevated eye pressure due to excess eye fluids is believed to play a part in the disease. Thus hypertension, or high blood pressure, is also a contributing factor.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Unfortunately, glaucoma has no obvious symptoms. There is no pain, no redness, and no other sign that something is wrong. A change in vision is the first sign that glaucoma is present. Glaucoma affects the peripheral vision first, so that the outer edges of the field of vision are lost. This “tunnel vision” becomes increasingly worse, until the central vision is impaired or lost altogether.

Detecting the Disease

According to the National Eye Institute, a comprehensive glaucoma screening should include the following:

  • Dilation of the pupil and use of a magnifying lens to examine the retina and optic nerve
  • Visual acuity test to measure vision at varying distances
  • Visual field test to measure peripheral vision
  • Measuring of eye pressure using a tonometer
  • Measuring of the thickness of the cornea

Early detection can help your eye doctor determine the right treatment options, which could include medicines, eye drops and laser surgeries to relieve eye pressure.

How to Prevent Glaucoma

There is no one way to prevent glaucoma. However, keeping your eyes as healthy as possible can help lessen your risk of developing the disease. Be sure to have an eye exam every two years until age 40, and then every year after age 40. If glaucoma is detected, proper treatment can prevent the disease from worsening and can help keep your vision intact. Exercising regularly can have a positive benefit for your eyes, as can a healthy diet with good vitamin and mineral intake. Be sure to protect your eyes from injury by wearing proper safety gear, as well.

Consult a Glaucoma Expert Today

Glaucoma can be easily treated when detected and supervised by an eye care professional. The doctors at Advanced Eye Medical have over 30 years of experience in screening and treating the disease. Schedule your appointment now and get started in preventing glaucoma. Your eyes will thank you for it!