Glaucoma Hero

What is Glaucoma?

There are several types of glaucoma, all causing optic nerve damage, and eventually, vision loss. For many glaucoma patients, the vision loss will first present as peripheral vision loss.

Over 3 million Americans are living with glaucoma and the disease is a significant cause of vision loss and blindness in America. To protect your vision from glaucoma, it’s important to have an eye exam once per year.

Types of Glaucoma?

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma, accounting for 90% of cases. Because open-angle glaucoma progresses slowly, many people don’t realize they have open-angle glaucoma until they have developed irreversible vision loss.

Open-angle glaucoma happens when the eye’s drainage canal clogs over time. As the canal clogs, intraocular pressure increases, eventually causing optic nerve damage and ultimately, vision loss.

Angle-closure glaucoma is caused by blocked drainage canals and usually happens when the eyes’ drainage canals are too narrow. In many cases, there is a hereditary component to the disease.

This type of glaucoma can progress slowly, like open-angle glaucoma, or begin suddenly. The slow progress is hard to detect without an eye exam, but the sudden variety will be very noticeable with symptoms like intense pain and vision changes.

Normal-tension glaucoma causes optic nerve damage, but unlike other forms of glaucoma, there is no increase in intraocular pressure. Patients suffering from normal-tension glaucoma have normal or close to normal eye pressure, but can still experience the same vision loss associated with glaucoma.

Congenital glaucoma is extremely uncommon and is seen in babies, rather than the ageing population. The disease happens when the eyes’ drainage canals fail to develop completely or properly, leading to the optic nerve damage associated with glaucoma.

How We Diagnose & Treat Glaucoma

Annual Eye Exams

Consistent visits to the optometrist are the best way to diagnose glaucoma. When you visit the optometrist for an eye exam every year, your optometrist can detect slight changes in your eye health that you may not notice on your own. This is especially important when diagnosing glaucoma, as in many cases it develops gradually.

Your optometrist will likely use tonometry, or the “air puff” test, to measure your eye for increased intraocular pressure, which can be an indicator of glaucoma. They will likely also do a visual field test and a visual acuity test.

Risk Factors

Certain factors increase your risk of glaucoma. It’s important to communicate with your optometrist if you fall into the following categories:

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Age 40 to 60
  • Severe myopia (nearsightedness)
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Medical Therapy & Surgery

Glaucoma can be treated when it is caught early. Vision loss from glaucoma cannot be reversed, but the progression of glaucoma can be slowed with medical therapy. If the disease has progressed significantly, surgery is another treatment option. Glaucoma surgery can include laser treatment or an incision to reduce eye pressure, depending on the severity of the glaucoma.

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How to Find Us?

We’re located in Northwest D.C. to care for all your eye health needs.

Our Address

1776 G Street NW, Suite 104
Washington, D.C 20006

Contact Information

Phone: (202) 298-6878

Hours of Operations

Monday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Tuesday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Wednesday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Thursday
9:00am – 5:00pm
Friday
8:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday
8:30am – 1:00pm
Sunday
Closed

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