Optometry & Licensed Optometrists located in Bakersfield, CA
Glaucoma is a top cause of blindness in the United States. The optometric physicians at Stockdale Optometry in Bakersfield, California, are experts in diagnosing glaucoma and providing treatment options that work. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, and vision loss due to glaucoma can’t be restored. To prevent glaucoma and slow its progression, regular eye exams are crucial. Find out more by calling the office or requesting an appointment online today.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that develops when high pressure inside your eye damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve connects your retina to your brain, sending impulses that are converted into the images you see.
When you have glaucoma, the optic nerve suffers damage and causes permanent vision loss or blindness. Vision loss happens slowly, and it’s possible that you may not notice symptoms until the glaucoma is in an advanced stage.
There are different kinds of glaucoma, but the two most common are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma occurs when fluid builds up inside your eye and elevates your eye pressure. In healthy eyes, the fluid drains out through the trabecular meshwork tissue in the drainage angle between the cornea and iris. But, in people with open-angle glaucoma, the meshwork is partially blocked and fluid can’t drain out. This causes eye pressure to rise gradually over time.
With angle-closure glaucoma, the iris bulges out and blocks the drainage angle between the iris and cornea. Fluid can’t drain out, and eye pressure increases. Angle-closure glaucoma can develop gradually or suddenly. For sudden onset, acute angle-closure glaucoma, seek medical attention immediately.
What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
Anyone can develop glaucoma at any time, but certain factors put you at increased risk for developing the condition. Common risk factors include:
- Being over 60 years old
- Having a family history of glaucoma
- Being of African American, Asian, or Hispanic descent
- Having a health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure
- Having high internal eye pressure
Older adults with a family history of glaucoma are most likely to develop the condition. But if you have any of the above risk factors for glaucoma, it’s important to get regular eye exams to identify signs of glaucoma as early as possible.
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
The optometric physicians at Stockdale Optometry can identify glaucoma before you notice any symptoms or suffer lasting vision loss. Early diagnosis is critical to prevent blindness and slow down the damage to your optic nerve.
The team uses the latest technology to evaluate your visual field and test for glaucoma. They check the internal pressure of your eye and perform a corneal pachymetry to measure the thickness of your cornea.
Retinal imaging allows the team to take photos and look at the back of your eye. In the photos, they can see the blood vessels in the retina, as well as the area that connects the optic nerve to the retina.
If you’re at risk for glaucoma, don’t wait to get your eyes examined until it’s too late. Request an appointment by phone or online today.