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Posted on 03-30-2017

Treatment for Glaucoma from Our Eye Doctor in Ocala

Nearly three million people over 40 have open-angle glaucoma, in the US alone. It is one of the more common eye diseases and, especially when untreated, glaucoma causes permanent blindness. Happily, the incidence of blindness due to glaucoma has decreased in recent years, due to more advanced diagnostic methods that allow earlier detection, and better treatment options available from experts like our Ocala eye doctors.

Elderly couple enjoying time outside.

Early Glaucoma: Only Your Ocala Optometrist Knows for Sure

Glaucoma treatment from our eye doctor in Ocala can slow the disease progression and help preserve your eye health and vision—but you can’t wait to detect the problem on your own. Since glaucoma slowly causes worsening vision, you may be completely oblivious to the problem in the early stages. It’s only later when glaucoma has already caused significant damage that you’ll notice vision problems.

What is Glaucoma and who is at Risk?

Glaucoma occurs when the specialized cells that carry information from the retina to the brain (called the retinal nerve fiber layer or RNFL) are damaged and die off. Glaucoma screening is a part of every eye examination at Ritz & Johnson Fashion Eyecare Center since even children can rarely be affected. For patients who have risk factors for glaucoma (like high eye pressure or a family history), glaucoma screenings should be performed once a year. Anyone can develop glaucoma, but the risk increases for those who have:

  • 40 or older
  • Genetic predisposition (Family history)
  • Cataracts
  • African-American descent
  • Hispanic descent
  • Past eye injury
  • High level of nearsightedness/farsightedness
  • Been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus or are developing diabetes
  • Used steroids, especially longer term use of steroid eye drops or injections (prescription or non-prescription)
  • Asian background, even with normal eye pressure glaucoma risk relates to eye shape and size
  • Moderately high eye pressure (Intraocular hypertension)
     

Timely Glaucoma Treatment Helps Preserve Eyesight

Make sure you see our eye doctor near Ocala annually for vision exams to detect any problems. If it is determined that you are at high risk for developing glaucoma then it is important to undergo additional, non-invasive, testing to detect if there has been any damage from glaucoma. This includes using specialized equipment to scan the optic nerve and measure the retinal nerve fiber layer to detect any early loss (before it would even be noticeable in a patient's vision) using an OCT or ocular coherence tomography. Also, it is important to measure for any subtle visual field loss.

Using a Humphrey Field Analyzer (HVA) subtle loss of visual sensitivity can be detected in patients that have glaucoma.The importance of these tests is also in repeating them regularly to track progression. Since glaucoma is a progressive disease these tests can be compared to each other over time to see if there are any progressive changes that otherwise would not be detectable if it was just done once. Our optometrists are experts in eye diseases and regularly screen all patients for the signs of early glaucoma including any increase in eye pressure.

If you've already noticed vision problems, you should still seek treatment to help keep retinal nerve fiber layer damage to a minimum, the sooner the better. Tests for glaucoma from our eye doctor near Ocala may include measuring the pressure of the eye, corneal thickness measurements, observing the drainage area of the eye, measuring retinal nerve layer thickness using the newest technology, measuring the sensitivity of the visual field in several areas to detect any decrease in function and more. 

Glaucoma Symptoms

Don't wait to notice glaucoma symptoms, because early glaucoma treatment from our Ocala eye doctors is key. You may notice in later stages:

  • Gradually blurred vision
  • Difficulty seeing things that are not directly in front of you
  • Feeling nauseous and/or vomiting*
  • Serious eye pain*
  • A severe headache*
  • Sudden loss of eyesight*
     

*These sudden symptoms are considered a medical emergency and a sign of a rare form of glaucoma, called narrow-angle glaucoma.

Get Glaucoma Treatment from Our Eye Doctor in Ocala Today!

Make an appointment with your Ocala optometrist today, if you haven't had a glaucoma screening and vision exam in the past year or if you have noticed any vision changes. At Ritz & Johnson Fashion Eyecare Center, we also serve Silver Springs, Anthony, Dunnellon, The Villages, FL and surrounding areas. Call us at 352-732-7900 today.

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