House Call: Do not let glaucoma steal your sight! Pt. 3

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 7:55 PM EST
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Half of people with glaucoma do not know they have the disease. That is even more reason why you need to have a healthy start this year, by learning about glaucoma and taking steps to reduce your risk of vision loss. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month and joining for our final installment of “Do Not Let Glaucoma Steal Your Sight”, is Dr. David Faris, ophthalmologist at UHC Ophthalmology.

1). How does an eye doctor check for glaucoma?

Eye doctors can check for glaucoma as part of a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The exam is simple and painless — your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate (widen) your pupil and then check your eyes for glaucoma and other eye problems. The exam includes a visual field test to check your peripheral (side) vision.

Glaucoma can happen in one eye or both eyes.

Some people with high eye pressure do not get glaucoma — and there is a type of glaucoma that happens in people with normal eye pressure.

The amount of eye pressure that is normal varies by person — what is normal for one person, could be high for another.

2). What is the treatment for glaucoma?

Doctors use a few different types of treatment for glaucoma, including medicines (usually eye drops), laser treatment, and surgery.

If you have glaucoma, it is important to start treatment right away. While it will not undo any damage to your vision, treatment can stop it from getting worse.

Medicines. Prescription eye drops are the most common treatment. These lower the pressure in your eye and prevent damage to your optic nerve.

Laser treatment. To lower pressure in your eye, doctors can use lasers to help the fluid drain out of your eye. It is a simple procedure that your doctor can do in the office.

Surgery. If medicines and laser treatment do not work, your doctor might suggest surgery. There are several different types of surgery that can help the fluid drain out of your eye.

Talk over your options with your doctor. While glaucoma is a serious disease, treatment works well. Remember these tips:

· If your doctor prescribes medicine, be sure to take it every day

· Tell your doctor if your treatment causes side effects

· See your doctor for regular check-ups

· If you are having trouble with everyday activities due to your vision loss, ask your doctor about low vision services or devices that could help

· Encourage family members to get checked for glaucoma, since it can run in families

3). What is some good news that we can all look forward to as we conclude this three-part, interview series on glaucoma?

There is good news on the horizon. While there is no cure for glaucoma, it can be treated. Scientists are studying what causes glaucoma and how we can find it earlier and treat it better. The National Eye Institute is continually funding research on new treatment options.

Schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam today! If you would like more information contact UHC Ophthalmology at 681-342-4525. The new office is located at 1370 Johnson Ave. in Bridgeport.

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