If you’re one of the 3 million people affected by glaucoma, you need the support and guidance of a knowledgeable optometrist to manage the condition properly. At Whitlow Family Vision Centers in Glasgow and Edmonton, Kentucky, Dr. Robert N. Whitlow and Dr. Cheryl G. Whitlow are highly experienced in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma, using the latest resources to prevent vision loss. To schedule an appointment, fill out our form online or call the office directly.
Glaucoma Q & A
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage your optic nerve, resulting in the loss of vision and permanent blindness.
Your optic nerve contains more than a million nerve fibers and is responsible for connecting your retina to your brain. With glaucoma, pressure builds up in the eye and damages the optic nerve causing visual disturbances.
The pressure is caused by a buildup of the clear fluid that usually nourishes your eye. In a healthy eye, this fluid can exit the eye’s front chamber through a meshwork of tissue where your cornea and iris meet. If you have glaucoma, the fluid does not drain normally, and pressure builds up in your eye.
You can also develop glaucoma as a result of your blood pressure. When blood pressure rises to an abnormal level, it can cause damage to your optic nerve.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Glaucoma typically has no symptoms in its early stages. As the condition progresses, you begin losing your peripheral vision and find it difficult to recognize objects to your side. Eventually, untreated glaucoma can interfere with your central vision until you go blind.
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
Dr. Whitlow often detects symptomless glaucoma during routine eye exams. During the exam, Dr. Whitlow places special eye drops into your eyes that cause your pupils to dilate before checking your internal eye structures.
To check the pressure of your eye, Dr. Whitlow administers numbing drops for your comfort, and then uses a diagnostic instrument called a tonometer. The tonometer measures the pressure inside your eye to detect glaucoma.
What treatments are available for glaucoma?
There is no cure for glaucoma. If you lose vision due to this condition, there is no way to restore it. However, with early diagnosis and prompt treatment, Dr. Whitlow can help you manage glaucoma to prevent vision loss.
Treatment options at Whitlow Family Vision Centers include prescription eye drops and oral medications to help lower the pressure in your eye. You may also need to make lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure in check.
Laser procedures can also be effective in reducing the amount of excess fluid you have in your eye.To learn more about managing glaucoma, schedule an appointment online or by phone.