Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and over two million Americans have this disease. Nearly half of those affected are not aware that they have the glaucoma. It is referred to as a “silent” disease because patients often feel virtually no symptoms until the disease is very advanced. It is a disorder that is associated with increased pressure in the eye, caused by a backup of fluid. Over time, increased pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve.
Detecting the disease in its early stages is essential to stopping it before damage is significant. The only way to detect glaucoma is to have a comprehensive eye examination on a regular basis. The disease is much more common in adults over 60, and often runs in families, so it’s important to be closely monitored before damage occurs. Unfortunately, once vision is lost, it can never be regained.
There are several common ways to treat glaucoma including: eye drops, prescription pills, laser treatments and surgery. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma based on increased eye pressure, optic nerve damage and / or changes on visual field testing, Dr. Coates will work with you to create an individualized treatment and follow-up plan that will help preserve your vision and prevent future vision loss.