Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. It is a common disease that is often (but not always) associated with high pressure in your eye.
It is sometimes referred to as the "Silent Thief of Sight" because there is usually no pain or noticeable symptoms until very late in its course and it is one of the leading causes of vision loss worldwide.
Because of this, if there is a family history of glaucoma or if you are over 60 years of age, it is important to have an annual comprehensive eye exam with our doctor.
Not all of the underlying mechanisms for the development of glaucoma are understood; however, we do know that age and genetic factors play the largest role. A family history is an extremely important risk factor.
Other contributing factors are trauma, congenital defects, certain medications (especially cortisone), and certain inherent conditions of the eye such as extreme far-sightedness or the development of an advanced cataract.
Glaucoma is a complex disease process but it is very treatable if monitored closely by one of our doctors every 4 to 6 months. With careful follow up, most people who are diagnosed with glaucoma will go on to have a normal life with very functional vision.
Glaucoma symptoms can occur suddenly and may include:
These symptoms also can be a sign of other eye problems.
If you have any of these symptoms, call our San Antonio office at (210) 692-8888 or contact us online to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Baribeau, or visit the emergency room immediately so steps can be taken to prevent permanent vision loss.
Many treatments are available to control glaucoma and new procedures are continually being developed. Daily medicated eye drops are probably the most common first approach, although laser treatments have been shown to be equally effective. Most people are managed effectively with either of these approaches; however, in serious cases, surgery is required to prevent progressive visual loss.