Cliffside Laser Eye and Cataract Center
Richard Levine, MD
Refractive Cataract and LASIK Specialist
Glaucoma can appear without any noticeable symptoms. Left untreated, it can lead to potentially serious complications. Routine eye exams can help ensure early diagnosis and treatment of the condition, which is often genetic. Richard Levine, MD is pleased to offer glaucoma testing and care for people in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. To book an appointment at Cliffside Laser Eye and Cataract Center, call our office, or use the online scheduler.
Glaucoma Q & A
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve. It develops from high fluid pressure within your eye when liquid in the front eye area doesn’t circulate properly.
What causes glaucoma?
Numerous factors can lead to glaucoma, including:
- Genetics (passed from parent to child)
- Blunt or chemical eye injury
- Severe eye infection
- Blocked blood vessels in your eye
- Inflammatory conditions
Rarely, surgery to correct another eye condition causes glaucoma. Heredity seems to be the most common factor. Other risk factors include being over age 40, having poor vision or diabetes, experiencing trauma to one or both eyes, or taking steroid medications.
Are there different types of glaucoma?
Yes, there are two main types of glaucoma, including:
- Open-angle glaucoma, the most common type in which your eyes look normal, but fluid doesn’t flow normally
- Angle-closure glaucoma, which can happen suddenly and may be linked to farsightedness and cataracts
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Most people with glaucoma don’t notice any symptoms. If or when they do arise, the first is usually reduced peripheral vision. Even this can go unnoticed until the condition has grown severe, which is why glaucoma is also known as the “sneak thief of vision.”
Other possible symptoms that require medical attention include:
- Eye pain
- Eye redness
- Loss of vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Seeing halos around lights, without another explanation
- Tunnel vision
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
To diagnose glaucoma, Dr. Levine will dilate your pupils using drops, then he’ll examine your eyes and test your vision. He may also check your optic nerve for signs of the condition. A test known as tonometry will be used to check the pressure in your eyes. These tests are quick and painless.
How is glaucoma treated?
Several treatment options are available for glaucoma, including:
- Eye drops that reduce fluid formation in the eye or increase fluid outflow
- Laser surgery, which can mildly increase fluid flow from the eye
- Trabeculectomy, a microsurgery that creates a new channel for draining fluid and easing eye pressure
Though these treatments won’t restore any lost vision, they can preserve the sight you do have by relieving pressure. In most cases, glaucoma treatment paired with routine eye exams effectively prevents blindness.