Glaucoma Detection & Management in Okotoks

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Preserve Your Vision from the Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is referred to as the “silent thief of sight” because it often develops without symptoms during its early stages. However, glaucoma can cause significant damage to your optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

How are you to catch this “silent thief” before your vision is damaged? All you need to do is book an appointment with our team, and we will help with the rest.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve becomes increasingly damaged, usually as a result of high pressure inside the eye. Our optic nerve is responsible for transmitting visual information from our eyes to our brain. Though glaucoma is typically related to high intraocular pressure, it can also occur even when the intraocular pressure is within the normal range.

Though there are many different types of glaucoma, the 3 most common are:

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease, with over 250,000 Canadians managing its symptoms.

It occurs when your intraocular pressure rises due to blockages in your eye’s drainage canals (trabecular meshwork), but the drainage angle between your iris remains open. Because your eyes internal fluids (aqueous humour) aren’t draining at a normal rate, your intraocular pressure rises and damages your optic nerve, leading to vision loss.

Closed-angle glaucoma, or acute angle-closure glaucoma, is less common than its open-angle counterpart but is much more damaging to your vision.

This disease occurs when the drainage angle between your iris and cornea closes, resulting in the rapid rise of intraocular pressure, leading to vision loss. Closed-angle glaucoma can also cause other symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Light halos
  • Red eyes

Closed-angle glaucoma is considered to be a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.

Normal-tension glaucoma is unique in its ability to damage your optic nerve without raising your intraocular pressure. Experts still are not sure what causes the disease, but routine comprehensive eye exams can detect it.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Glaucoma’s lack of symptoms makes the disease particularly dangerous because, by the time you begin to notice changes in your vision, you may have already suffered irreversible vision loss.

There are a variety of risk factors that can increase your chances of developing glaucoma. These include:

  • Your family history: Individuals with a family history of glaucoma are significantly more likely to develop glaucoma themselves
  • Your age: Those over 60 are more likely to develop glaucoma, and that risk continues to increase every year after.
  • Having diabetes: Individuals living with diabetes may have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.
  • Other medical conditions: Those who experience variations in blood pressure or have heart disease are more likely to develop glaucoma.
  • Previous eye injuries: Severe trauma, such as being hit in the eye, can immediately raise your eye’s intraocular pressure, and may even cause it to spike long after your injury has healed. Eye injuries can also cause lens dislocation, impacting your eye’s ability to drain fluid, increasing your intraocular pressure.
  • Anatomical factors: Your eye’s anatomy, including thin corneas, can increase your risk of developing glaucoma. Conditions such as retinal detachment, eye inflammation, and eye tumours can also increase your risk.
  • Severe nearsightedness: Severely nearsighted people may be more likely to develop glaucoma.

Corticosteroid use: Patients who use ocular or systemic corticosteroids for prolonged periods may be more likely to develop glaucoma.

Find the Help You Need Today

Glaucoma can lead to vision loss, but we can help manage your symptoms. If you run the risk of developing this disease, please book an appointment with our team today.

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