Around 3 million Americans currently suffer from glaucoma, but only about half are aware of it. Glaucoma can cause vision loss very gradually and can be hard to recognize, which is why Bolduc Eye Care in Biddeford, Maine, offers comprehensive eye exams to diagnose it early. Then, you can start treatment immediately to prevent vision loss. Call the office or book your appointment through the online scheduler now.
Glaucoma is a category of eye diseases that causes damage to your optic nerve — the nerve that transmits signals to your brain so they can form images. Optic nerve damage can lead to poor vision or blindness. The two most common kinds of glaucoma are:
Open-angle glaucoma is the most commonly-occurring type. It happens when the trabecular meshwork between your cornea and iris fails to drain your aqueous humor (inner-eye fluid) normally. Then, the excess aqueous humor stays in your eye and causes high eye pressure.
The high eye pressure damages your optic nerve, which eventually leads to vision loss. Open-angle glaucoma happens very gradually and is often called the thief of eyesight because the changes are so subtle and slow that you might not realize what's going on until you have pronounced vision loss.
Angle-closure glaucoma is rare and is far more severe than open-angle glaucoma. It happens when your iris and cornea grow too close together because of your iris bulging forward. This dramatically narrows or obstructs fluid drainage causing increased eye pressure and optic nerve damage.
Angle-closure glaucoma can happen slowly over time (chronic angle-closure) or quite rapidly (acute angle-closure). Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a serious medical emergency that can cause rapid blindness if you don’t seek care immediately.
Bolduc Eye Care can assess your eyes to determine what type of glaucoma you’re dealing with so you can start treatment now.
Usually, the Bolduc Eye Care team diagnoses glaucoma during routine eye exams. An eye pressure test called tonometry is the most common way to check for glaucoma.
Still, diagnosis may also include other tests like visual field test, corneal thickness measurement, and a close-up exam of your drainage angle.
In most cases, treatment begins with prescription eye drops that help decrease your eye pressure and optic nerve damage. Sometimes, you may need oral medication if eye drops don’t help.
If nonsurgical options aren’t successful, Bolduc Eye Care can refer you to a local ophthalmologist — an eye surgeon who specializes in this kind of treatment. A laser treatment called a trabeculoplasty can unclog your trabecular meshwork if you have open-angle glaucoma.
For angle-closure glaucoma, the definitive solution is iridotomy, in which a small laser hole within your iris allows eye fluid drainage. Other surgical options are also available, depending on your specific needs.
Book your appointment at Bolduc Eye Care by calling either location or scheduling online now.