In the United States, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, and there are often no warning signs. Michael Matthews, OD specializes in diagnosing and treating women, men, and children with glaucoma at Midway Optometry in Point Loma, San Diego, CA . Regular eye exams are the best way to prevent glaucoma since symptoms rarely occur until the disease is already progressing. As such, schedule an eye exam using the online system or call the office (it’s located just minutes from the airport). We serve patients in the surrounding San Diego area including Point Loma and Loma Portal.
Glaucoma Q & A
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that progressively damages your optic nerve.
Your optic nerve is the nerve that connects your eyeball to your brain. If the nerve is damaged, you could end up with blurry vision, blind spots, or difficulty seeing areas of peripheral vision. Glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness without treatment.
In the early stages of glaucoma, you usually don’t notice any symptoms. That’s why regular eye exams are the only way to determine the health of your optic nerve and if you have signs of glaucoma. In most cases, the cause of glaucoma is unknown, but there’s a correlation between increased eye pressure and developing this disease.
Who is at risk for developing glaucoma?
Anyone can get glaucoma, but the following risk factors increase your risk:
- High internal eye pressure
- Age 60 and over
- Eye injuries or surgeries
- Use of corticosteroid medications for an extended time
- Certain medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia
- Early estrogen deficiencies, such as post ovary removal
- Eye conditions like nearsightedness
It’s essential to have a regular eye exam, so Dr. Matthews can perform glaucoma screening. If you have any of these risk factors, it’s even more important to have regular eye exams and glaucoma screenings. Although damage to your optic nerve and vision loss is irreversible, early treatment for glaucoma can stall its progression.
What happens during a glaucoma screening?
Dr. Matthews performs several tests to determine your overall eye health and specific testing for any indication of glaucoma, including:
- Measuring corneal thickness
- Checking for existing optic nerve damage
- Measuring the pressure inside your eyeballs
- Testing your field of vision for areas of vision loss
- Inspecting your eyes’ drainage angle
Dr. Matthews and the team at Midway Optometry use state of the art equipment and procedures with your comfort in mind at all times. Glaucoma testing doesn’t hurt in any way, and the team explains each test to you before performing it, so you'll understand what’s happening.
How is glaucoma treated?
Dr. Matthews develops a comprehensive treatment plan based on your individual needs. Treatment options may include prescription eye drops to decrease the pressure in your eyes.
You may respond well to laser therapy. This procedure reduces the amount of fluid that builds up in your eye, which is typical with glaucoma. In more severe cases, Dr. Matthews may recommend glaucoma surgery.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had an eye exam, or you have any of the risk factors for glaucoma, call the office or schedule an appointment online at your earliest convenience.