Glaucoma Testing & Treatment in Hendersonville
Glaucoma, a disorder in which fluid pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve, is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. But that doesn't mean the condition is untreatable. In fact, there are many treatment options available to control this irreversible disease -- but the longer you wait to get the condition diagnosed, the more permanent vision loss may occur before treatment steps in. That's why you need to get your eyes tested regularly for glaucoma. Here at Hendersonville Eye Care, we're happy to offer advanced glaucoma testing and treatment services to help you preserve your eyesight.
The term "glaucoma" actually applies, not to one single disorder, but to a few different disorders that can cause fluid pressure to build up inside the eye. Under normal circumstances, the eye can control its fluid pressure by allowing excess fluid to drain through tiny canals in the iris and into the pupil, where it is expelled and absorbed by the bloodstream. If anything occurs to disrupt this delicate balance, the excess fluid pressure can kill sensitive fibers in the optic nerve, causing progressive loss of vision.
In the most common type of glaucoma, known as open-angle glaucoma, this buildup occurs gradually due to inefficiencies in the drainage system and/or inadequate blood flow to the optic nerve. Closed-angle glaucoma is less common; it involves a sudden increase in eye pressure due to an acute blockage of the eye's drainage ducts. This medical emergency can produce symptoms such as eye pain and redness, headaches and even nausea. Secondary glaucoma is a byproduct of another health problem such as traumatic injury to the eye. There's even a variant called "normal-pressure glaucoma" that has no known cause.
Testing and Treatment at Hendersonville Eye Care
African-Americans over the age of 40, and other populations over the age of 60, have an elevated risk for glaucoma, as do those with high blood pressure or a family history of glaucoma. But no one is immune to it, so we recommend glaucoma testing as part of your annual eye health exam. We use a technique called tonometry to get accurate measurements of your intraocular pressure. Peripheral vision testing can also reveal early signs of glaucoma-related vision loss, since peripheral vision is typically affected in open-angle glaucoma. We can also examine and photograph your retinas to look for any signs of optic nerve abnormalities.
If you're diagnosed with glaucoma, don't panic -- modern medicine offers several treatment methods that can help you control the condition. The first line of defense is usually medicated eye drops. Our optometrist can recommend any of several different types of eye drops to regulate fluid pressure. Oral medications are another option. Surgical procedures such as trabeculectomy and tube shunt implantation can provide an extra mechanism for eye drainage. Contact Hendersonville Eye Care to schedule glaucoma testing and to learn more about our many methods for treating this eye disease! Call us today at 828-693-5205.