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Glaucoma FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a common eye disease in Tucson and the rest of the world, which means that many people have heard of the condition. However, most people don't know much about it. This is unfortunate because many features of the condition make it very important that people are conscious of their risk.

Q. What is glaucoma?

A. Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. In the most common form of the disease, increased pressure inside the eye is a major factor for the development of the disease and damage. However, there are forms of glaucoma that do not cause increased intraocular pressure.

Q. What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

A. Unfortunately, most early-stage glaucoma has no symptoms and once symptoms appear, they cannot be reversed. For this reason, it is extremely important to be screened for the disease by an ophthalmologist on a regular basis. Glaucoma is usually a very slowly progressive disease, so regular screenings help avoid potential risks and side effects. 

Q. Who is at risk of glaucoma, and can it be prevented?

A. As mentioned, patients who have higher eye pressure may be at risk of developing glaucoma.  In addition, certain races may be more likely to develop glaucoma due to genetic factors.  A family history of glaucoma, high or low blood pressure, and age may also contribute to the development of the disease.  A number of lifestyle and dietary factors have been studied, but there are no lifestyle modifications which have been found to be clearly beneficial to long-term glaucoma management. However, there are factors which have been found to affect the eye pressure such as exercise and nutrition.  

Q. How is glaucoma detected?

A. Most types of glaucoma are detectable during a regular, dilated eye exam with your ophthalmologist. The entire eye is evaluated, with specific attention given to the optic nerve to check for any damage.   Additional diagnostic testing maybe recommended to establish baseline measurements if there may be a risk of glaucoma. 

Q. How is glaucoma treated?

A. Depending on the type and severity of the condition, glaucoma may be treated with eye drops, lasers, or surgery.  All three options focus on lowering the pressure inside the eye.   First line treatment is typically an eye drop medication which an ophthalmologist may prescribe depending on general health and other medications.   One of the pitfalls of medication treatment is that patients can be non-compliant with the prescribed eye drop.  As the early stages of the disease have few symptoms, people tend to quite taking their eye drops.  It is important to consult with your ophthalmologist before stopping or changing any medications. 

Visit Our Tucson Ophthalmologist for Vision Screening Today!

If you are concerned about glaucoma, already have a diagnosis, or haven't seen an ophthalmologist in a while, we would love to see you. Regular eye exams can provide early detection and save your vision.  Call (520) 293-6740 to reach Fishkind, Bakewell, Maltzman, Hunter and Associates Eye Care and Surgery Center in Tucson today.

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