Rosemead Eye Center
Board Certified Eye Physician and Surgeons located in Rosemead, CA
Glaucoma progressively damages your optic nerve and can lead to blindness, but with early detection and treatment, you can delay its progression and protect your vision. At Rosemead Eye Center in Rosemead, California, board-certified eye physician and surgeon Elson Lai, MD, provides a range of glaucoma treatments to reduce eye pressure and preserve vision. To get tested or treated for glaucoma, schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that damages your optic nerves, which are located in the back of your eyes. Your optic nerves carry visual information from your eyes to your brain, allowing you to see images. Damage to your optic nerves can lead to blindness.
Glaucoma results from pressure on the optic nerve. And as the pressure gets worse, so does the disease.
Your eyes produce a fluid called aqueous humor that plays an important role in nourishing them and regulating their pressure. It’s supposed to easily flow in and out of your eyes.
However, if the aqueous humor can’t drain easily, it builds up in the front part of your eyes, placing pressure on your optic nerves.
Glaucoma usually affects both eyes. However, it may not develop at the same time, so one of your eyes may have advanced glaucoma while the other has early-stage glaucoma.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight” because it usually doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms until it’s already caused permanent vision damage. Unfortunately, there aren’t early warning signs.
Glaucoma first causes you to lose your peripheral (side) vision. If it’s left untreated, it can cause full blindness in one or both of your eyes.
You can’t reverse vision loss from glaucoma, though treatment can stop it from getting worse. The best way to prevent glaucoma is early detection, through regular comprehensive eye exams, including a glaucoma screening, at Rosemead Eye Center.
Who is at risk for glaucoma?
Eye exams also give you an opportunity to learn your risk factors. You’re more likely to develop glaucoma if you:
- Have a family history of the disease
- Are diabetic
- Are nearsighted
- Have high blood pressure or heart disease
- Have a history of eye injuries or eye surgery
- Are African-American or Hispanic
You should have a glaucoma screening every four years starting at age 40 if you don’t have any elevated risk factors. If you have a high risk or are age 65 or older, you should be screened for glaucoma at least every two years.
Dr. Lai advises you on your risk factors and determines a glaucoma screening schedule that’s appropriate for you.
How is glaucoma treated?
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce the pressure in your eyes and preserve your vision. Treatment allows fluid to drain more easily from your eyes and reduces buildup. Glaucoma treatments may include one or a combination of the following:
- Prescription eye drops, to decrease the fluid production in your eyes or help fluid drain freely from your eyes
- Laser surgery, to improve the drainage angle in your eye
- Microsurgery, to create a new channel in your eye for fluid to flow out of
Though glaucoma isn’t curable, it’s controllable with early detection. To schedule a glaucoma screening or learn more about treatment, call Rosemead Eye Center or book an appointment online.