What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an umbrella term for a set of conditions that can deteriorate the optic nerve, which is dedicated to transmitting visual information to the brain. When neglected, glaucoma can cause vision loss and/or total blindness. It is nearly always the result of increased pressure within the eye from fluid buildup in men and women aged 60 and older. In its earliest stages, glaucoma doesn't have any discernable symptoms and is often called the "silent thief." Though a cure hasn't been developed for glaucoma, it can be slowed via early detection and the best treatments. This condition is a major reason why scheduling comprehensive eye exams a minimum of every other year is critical to your general eye health, especially as you age. At Family Vision Care of Cool Springs, we have the most up-to-date diagnostic methods and are broadly knowledgeable about the best management techniques. If you are past 40 years of age, contact us at our Franklin, TN office to arrange your comprehensive exam with one of our optometrists, Drs. Daxx Dunn, Marla Weldon, and Kelly Short, and get ahead of managing your eye health.
What Are The Symptoms Of Glaucoma?
The different types and severities of glaucoma generally don't have any symptoms at all in the beginning. Nonetheless, each type can also present one or more symptoms that may range from insignificant to extreme. When glaucoma begins to get worse, patients usually start to notice problems like reduced peripheral vision, blurred vision, tension headaches, and eye redness. As the disease advances, symptoms may include halos, severely decreased peripheral vision, nausea and vomiting, and sore eyes. Because glaucoma doesn't typically present any symptoms at first, scheduling frequent comprehensive eye exams at Family Vision Care in Franklin, TN is critical in detecting it early enough to slow vision loss.
What Causes Glaucoma?
All types of glaucoma are due to the deterioration of the optic nerve. In virtually every case of glaucoma, this injury is due to increased intraocular pressure from eye fluid retention. In normal, healthy eyes, the fluid that nourishes the eye tissue is allowed to transfer as necessary via a special tissue, the trabecular meshwork, which supports the area between the cornea and the iris. In some patients, this drainage is prevented or much too slow, which leads to fluid buildup.
The most familiar types of glaucoma are diagnosed according to the condition of the trabecular meshwork and the width of the space between the iris and cornea. If the fluid buildup is due to an issue in the trabecular meshwork, it is considered open-angle glaucoma. However, if the buildup is caused by the width of space between the cornea and iris being too constricted or blocked, this is known as narrow- or closed-angle glaucoma. Studies have shown that glaucoma caused by internal eye pressure can be inherited. Besides heredity and age, other factors that can raise intraocular pressure include extended use of corticosteroid eye drops, very thin corneal tissue, being African American, Hispanic, or Asian, and having particular health conditions, for example, diabetes mellitus. Nonetheless, glaucoma can be related to issues besides eye pressure. When this occurs, it is considered secondary glaucoma, as it is a symptom of a separate, primary condition.
"Wow! What great and friendly service today - a definite 5 stars! My old Ray-Ban frames were crumbing apart at the ear pieces. The on- duty optician switched my lenses to the new Ray-Ban frames that I purchased there. She did a outstanding job! I highly recommend this office! -J. Loyd, Franklin, TN"- J. / Google / Jul 14, 2021
"I go every year for my check up. Very straightforward. Always clear pricing. Quality exam for a fair cost. The doctor is nice and takes time for what you need. Always happy with my visits and everyone is absolutely so friendly"- B.H. / Google / Jun 14, 2021
"From the phone call to schedule to the testing process to the payment, this office is by far the kindest most efficient office I have ever been a part of. Thank you all!"- T.V. / Google / Apr 14, 2021
"This group of medical professionals offer a friendly atmosphere incorporated with a high degree of professionalism. I have been a patient of Dr. Dunn's for years, and with unusual eye conditions, I feel so thankful that he is my doctor, offering expansive knowledge in this field. My daughter also uses this clinic. As a child with severe headaches, we had seen many specialists, none of whom were able to help her. When she went to this clinic, they determined during a routine eye exam the condition she had, and finally after almost 20 years have been able to rectify the situation. The professionalism, knowledge, care, and compassion for their patients is superb."- S.C. / Google / Apr 14, 2021
"Super friendly and knowledgeable staff."- R.E. / Google / Apr 14, 2021
How is Glaucoma diagnosed?
Dr. Dunn does many required tests to establish whether an individual has glaucoma. Each of these tests are completely comfortable, quite easy, and over with quickly. First, He will expand the pupils and maybe anesthetize the eyes with no-sting eye drops. After the eye drops start to work, Dr. Dunn will start doing the tests. These will include gauging the pressure inside the eye (tonometry) and the thickness of the cornea (pachymetry), determining the width of the space between the iris and cornea (gonioscopy), evaluating and recording the condition of the optic nerve, checking the patient’s field of outer (as opposed to central) vision, and testing for any regions of vision loss.
What Can I Expect from Glaucoma Treatment?
Glaucoma is often categorized based on two factors: the condition of your trabecular meshwork and the degree of the angle between your iris and your cornea. If you experience fluid retention due to an issue with your trabecular meshwork, you are experiencing open-angle glaucoma; if you're experiencing fluid retention due to the space between your cornea and iris being blocked or constricted, it is called narrow- or closed-angle glaucoma. There are other cases, however, where you could experience a secondary form of glaucoma due to an underlying condition. When testing for glaucoma, you can expect that we will:
- Measure the pressure inside your eye (tonometry)
- Assess the thickness of your cornea (pachymetry)
- Review the width of the angle between your iris and cornea (gonioscopy)
- Observe the condition of the optic nerve
- Test the degree of your outer (as opposed to central) vision
- Look for spots of blindness
Once we have established you have glaucoma, there are a variety of treatment options. At Family Vision Care of Cool Springs, we utilize nonsurgical treatment methods, like prescription medications, eye drops, and more.
Take Control of Glaucoma
At Family Vision Care of Cool Springs, we are here to help men and women in the Greater Nashville area manage their glaucoma. With early detection and treatment, we can help you reduce your chances of vision loss. Because glaucoma is known as a "silent thief" and typically does not have symptoms, we encourage you to get a comprehensive eye exam every other year so we can detect and treat glaucoma as early as possible. Call our Franklin, TN office to schedule your exam today.
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