Have you noticed a subtle loss of peripheral (outer boundary) vision in one or both of your eyes? A subtle loss of peripheral vision is a major concern, and is in fact one of the first symptoms of glaucoma, a destructive ocular disease. While many ocular diseases do not affect patients until later in life, glaucoma can occur as early as 40 years of age, in some cases. Glaucoma can cause permanent loss of sight when not detected and treated in a timely manner. Fortunately, you can find the help you need to prolong the overall health of your vision by scheduling a glaucoma screening at the state of the art practice of Shannon Chandler, O.D. in Las Vegas.
While ocular diseases may seem like a rare occurrence to many of us, glaucoma is, in fact, one of the main causes of total blindness in the United States today. Glaucoma is known by many eye care professionals as the invisible sight thief, as it most often shows no symptoms until permanent vision loss has already begun. Glaucoma typically occurs when the intraocular pressure in the eye rises to higher than normal levels; however, it is still possible to develop glaucoma with normal intraocular pressure. When this occurs, the fluid inside the eye cannot drain properly, and loss of vision is the eventual result. The first step to screening for glaucoma is through multiple state-of-the-art diagnostic tests to identify signs of glaucoma. If signs are detected by Dr. Chandler, you will be referred to a glaucoma specialist to begin care as soon as possible. It is especially important to be screened for glaucoma if risk factors are present, or if you have a family history of the disease.
Glaucoma is a condition of the eye that leads to progressive atrophy of the optic nerve. It is accompanied by changes in the appearance of the optic disc, loss of peripheral vision and has historically been associated with elevated intraocular pressure. Glaucoma occurs in two types: closed-angle and open-angle. Open-angle glaucoma, also called chronic glaucoma, is the most common type, and occurs when the eye fails to allow for proper drainage of aqueous fluid from the eye. One theory is that the trabecular meshwork filter, located between the iris and the cornea, slows down fluid movement and drainage.
It is in contrast to closed-angle or acute glaucoma, in which the drainage angle between the iris and the cornea becomes closed entirely, blocking fluid from exiting the eye and resulting in a significant rise in pressure. When fluid is unable to access the trabecular meshwork, pressure builds in a positive feedback loop, causing excruciating pain in the eye. The result is very rapid loss of vision in the eye.
If open-angle glaucoma is detected soon enough – its progression tends to be gradual – most cases will not require surgery. A medicated eye drop will be prescribed to reduce the pressure inside the eye, restoring fluid drainage and preserving the integrity of vision. Closed-angle glaucoma, conversely, will often require surgery to open the channel, using the placement of a shunt or laser surgery to restore fluid movement and return pressure in the eye to normal levels.
For the very best in eye care, including glaucoma screenings, be sure to visit the optometrists at the state-of-the-art practice of Shannon Chandler, O.D. in Las Vegas. Our fully licensed optometrists and professionally trained staff proudly serve the local community with the latest technological advances in eye care and procedures to screen for ocular diseases. With glaucoma screenings from Shannon Chandler, O.D., you can prolong the health of your vision.