Glaucoma is an eye condition characterized by damage to the optic nerve, often resulting in vision loss and potentially leading to irreversible blindness. It is often associated with increased intraocular pressure (IOP); however, glaucoma can also occur in individuals with normal IOP levels. Early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial in managing this potentially devastating condition and preserving vision.
At Valley Laser Eye Centre, we are committed to providing our patients with the knowledge, diagnostic tools, and advanced treatment options necessary to address eye conditions like glaucoma. Our team of skilled eye care professionals in Abbotsford, BC, prides themselves on offering personalized care, exceptional outcomes, and access to state-of-the-art therapies for glaucoma management.
In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the causes of glaucoma, highlight the importance of early detection, discuss the diagnostic procedures available at Valley Laser Eye Centre, and explore the advanced treatment options we offer for patients with glaucoma.
The Causes and Types of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is generally caused by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) due to fluid buildup within the eye’s anterior chamber. This pressure can damage the optic nerve, disrupting the transmission of visual information to the brain. There are two primary types of glaucoma:
1. Open-Angle Glaucoma: This is the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for about 90% of cases. Open-angle glaucoma develops slowly and typically does not exhibit noticeable symptoms until significant vision loss occurs. It occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become blocked or clogged, leading to an increase in IOP.
2. Angle-Closure Glaucoma: Less common but often more severe, angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the drainage angle between the cornea and iris narrows or becomes completely blocked. This type of glaucoma can develop suddenly (acute) or progress gradually (chronic) and often leads to a rapid increase in IOP, resulting in severe pain and vision loss.
Recognizing the Symptoms and Risks of Glaucoma
Individuals with glaucoma may experience various symptoms depending on the type and severity of the condition. Open-angle glaucoma often presents as a slow, progressive loss of peripheral vision, potentially progressing to tunnel vision in advanced stages. Angle-closure glaucoma, on the other hand, may exhibit symptoms such as:
1. Sudden, severe eye pain
2. Blurred vision
4. Halos or rainbow-coloured rings around lights
5. Nausea and vomiting
Risk factors associated with glaucoma include age, family history, African and Hispanic heritage, high myopia, hypertension, and the prolonged use of steroid medications.
Diagnosing Glaucoma at Valley Laser Eye Centre
Early detection of glaucoma is essential to preserving vision and preventing further damage to the optic nerve. At Valley Laser Eye Centre, our comprehensive glaucoma evaluation includes:
1. Eye Pressure Test (Tonometry): This test measures intraocular pressure using a specialized device known as a tonometer.
2. Visual Field Test (Perimetry): This test assesses peripheral vision to detect areas of vision loss commonly associated with glaucoma.
3. Examination of the Optic Nerve (Ophthalmoscopy): Dilating the pupils allows eye care professionals to examine the optic nerve head for signs of damage.
4. Angle Assessment and Imaging (Gonioscopy and Optical Coherence Tomography): Utilizing specialized lenses and imaging technology, our team evaluates the drainage angle and obtains high-resolution optic nerve and retinal nerve fibre layer images.
Our advanced diagnostic procedures enable our eye care professionals to accurately assess the presence and severity of glaucoma and develop a tailored treatment plan to manage the condition effectively.
Advanced Treatment Options for Glaucoma at Valley Laser Eye Centre
Once diagnosed with glaucoma, various treatment options are available to help manage the condition and prevent further vision loss:
1. Medication: Prescription eye drops or oral medications can aid in reducing IOP by improving fluid drainage or decreasing fluid production within the eye.
2. Laser Treatment: Several laser procedures like Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) or Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) can reduce IOP by increasing fluid drainage or creating a drainage pathway.
3. Conventional Surgery: Trabeculectomy or Glaucoma Drainage Device (GDD) implantation may be required to create a new drainage channel in cases where medications and laser treatments prove insufficient.
Understanding the causes, symptoms, and risks associated with glaucoma is crucial in detecting and addressing the condition early on. At Valley Laser Eye Centre in Abbotsford, BC, our team provides comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and advanced treatment options to help manage glaucoma, prevent further vision loss, and improve our patients’ quality of life.
Schedule a consultation with our dedicated ophthalmologists in Abbotsford to discuss your glaucoma concerns and explore the most suitable treatment options for your unique needs. Trust Valley Laser Eye Centre to support you on your journey toward healthy eyes and clear vision.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.