Over 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma, but most of them don’t know it yet. Glaucoma, the “Silent Thief of Sight,” typically doesn’t present symptoms until the late stages, so early diagnosis is critical.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages your optic nerve, usually caused when fluid builds up in the front of your eye. The extra fluid increases eye pressure, which damages the optic nerve. The two major types of glaucoma are:
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
The most common type of glaucoma, this is where the eye doesn’t drain fluid as well as it should, pressure builds up and the optic nerve is damaged. This happens gradually, is painless and doesn’t have any symptoms at first.
This type of glaucoma happens when the iris is very close to the drainage angle in the eye; the iris can block the drainage angle. When this happens, eye pressure rises very quickly (called an acute attack). Many people develop angle-closure glaucoma slowly; there are no symptoms until the attack.
Without early symptoms, the only way to know you have glaucoma is with an eye exam. Doctors Anne Miller and David Smits are ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists at Cheyenne Eye Clinic & Surgery Center. While glaucoma cannot be cured, they are experts in glaucoma care and treatment.
Dr. Miller is a Board-Certified, Fellowship-Trained glaucoma specialist focused on treatments including medical, laser and incisional surgery.
Dr. Smits is a Fellowship-Trained glaucoma specialist focused on glaucoma surgery. In addition to medical and laser treatment of glaucoma, he has an interest in minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) that’s often performed with cataract surgery.
Glaucoma patients who begin treatment in the early stages and comply with their doctor’s recommendations do not experience significant, noticeable vision loss. Treating glaucoma diagnosed in later stages may also preserve remaining vision.
To take control of your eye health and get ahead of glaucoma, practice these easy steps:
Have Regular Eye Exams
A comprehensive eye exam is the best way for your doctor to identify glaucoma. Schedule your appointment here.
Know Your History
Glaucoma is hereditary; has anyone in your family had glaucoma?
Routine, moderate exercise can reduce eye pressure, even something as simple as taking a walk three to four days a week can help.
Protect Your Eyes
For everyday eye health, wear eye protection – sunglasses, safety glasses and blue light blockers.
Find out more about what to expect from laser glaucoma surgery, here.