Common eye condition may worsen over time

Glaucoma is the result of fluid filling the space in the front most section of your eye. The optic nerve, which is the channel from your eye to your brain, sustains damage from the pressure. Therefore, the final image your brain processes is distorted.

There are two primary forms of glaucoma:

Open-angle glaucoma is a genetic form of glaucoma that is less detectable because the blockage is deeper in the channel. This type attacks our sight from the peripheral to central sections of the eye. You will experience tunnel vision before any noticeable blurred or blindness. The early stages go undetected because there are few warning signs. The most common treatment is eye drops.

Angle-closure glaucoma happens when the area between your cornea and lens is too narrow. As our eyes change over time the fluid has less space to move freely and pressure mounts. Symptoms may include a decrease in overall vision with a spectrum of colors around lights. You may also have:

  • Severe headache
  • Pain in one eye
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Eye redness

The most common treatment is a mix of laser therapy and surgery.

A person may also have congenital glaucoma (often diagnosed at a few months of age) or secondary glaucoma, caused by another known condition, such as diabetes.

In order to diagnose glaucoma, your doctor may recommend certain tests, such as tonometry, which determines the level of fluid squeezing the nerve. A thin sheet transfers color-changing dye onto the surface of the eye. A light attached to a microscope measures the pressure. Your doctor may also perform a visual acuity test, pupil dilation, and visual field testing.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.