Vision that is lost gradually with few or no symptoms may be the result of glaucoma. The leading cause of blindness in the United States today, glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Made up of about 1 million tiny nerve fibers that run from the back of the eye to the brain, the optic nerve carries signals back and forth between your eyes and brain. When a damaged optic nerve loses the ability to carry these signals, vision is lost.
Glaucoma typically affects older people, but the disease can occur at any age. In its early stages, many patients experience no noticeable change in vision, pain, or other symptoms of the disease. The Glaucoma Research Foundation recommends an annual eye examination for adults 60 and over, but why wait until then to protect your good vision when all it takes is a simple eye examination? When detected early, glaucoma can be treated, and vision loss can be prevented.
Common Types of Glaucoma
Dr. Alan Faulkner has skill and expertise in treating patients for all types of glaucoma, including the two most widespread forms of this eye disease: primary open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. For patients with primary open-angle glaucoma, eye fluid does not drain out of the eye as quickly as it should. For patients with closed-angle glaucoma, the drainage angle closes and prevents nearly all eye fluid from escaping. Pressure builds up and causes pain. Closed-angle glaucoma is an emergency requiring immediate treatment to prevent blindness from occurring.
During a routine eye examination at Aloha Laser Vision, Dr. Alan Faulkner thoroughly examines your eyes and take into account your risk factors for having glaucoma, which include being nearsighted, having a family history of the disease, having had a past eye injury, having diabetes, having a past history of vascular shock, and even your race (African-Americans are six times more likely to develop glaucoma!).
Once glaucoma has been detected, treatment begins with eye drops to relieve built-up pressure in the eye. If the drops are unsuccessful in relieving the pressure, then surgery may be necessary to open up the eye’s drainage system in order for the eye fluid to flow more freely.
Aloha Laser Vision is dedicated to meeting the vision needs of our patients by providing safe, high-quality eye surgery procedures. We are proud to serve patients from Honolulu, Hawaii and beyond, and look forward to helping them attain their optimal vision. Please contact Aloha Laser Vision today to learn more about how we can help.