What is Glaucoma?
A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. Contrary to common perception, it is not a “film” on the surface of the eye, although it certainly can cause vision to appear filmy. Cataracts are an inevitable consequence of aging – if you live long enough you’ll get a cataract. Some general health conditions (like diabetes) and medications (like steroids) can cause cataracts; ultraviolet radiation has long been considered a cause of cataract formation.
How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
GIn short, glaucoma has no symptoms – and this means that regular eye exams are critical for diagnosing glaucoma. As a part of your ongoing care your optometrist will use eye drops to regularly monitor and examine your optic nerve. If there is a concern about glaucoma, further investigation may be recommended.
How is Glaucoma Treated?
If glaucoma is diagnosed, your optometrist will work cooperatively with an ophthalmologist to initiate and monitor treatment. The first line of therapy is the use of a topical medication (eye drop) daily to lower IOP and improve blood flow to the optic nerve. Laser Surgery may be performed to improve pressure control. Other surgical procedures may be required to dramatically lower IOP in cases of severe glaucoma. Early diagnoses is the key to successful treatment.