Article provided by: Coastal Eye Institute
If your doctor has given you a referral to see a Bradenton Glaucoma specialist, be sure you take the time to research which doctors are available in your area. You’ll want to see a Glaucoma doctor who is skilled and experienced in treating patients with Glaucoma.
Glaucoma affects the optic nerve which is found at the back of the eye. The optic nerve sends visual information from the eye to the brain, allowing us to see (similar to the way the cable cord of a television transmits pictures from the cable box to the television screen).
In glaucoma, the pressure inside the eyeball is high enough to cause damage to the optic nerve. Similar to high blood pressure, patients usually do not “feel” the pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” as visual impairment begins in the periphery and progresses slowly. As the condition progresses, more nerve cells are damaged and the field of vision narrows. If left unchecked, this process can lead to complete blindness. This makes it essential to see a Bradenton Glaucoma specialist promptly after receiving a referral.
When pressure in the eye begins to rise, it slowly destroys fibers that are in the optic nerve. As this happens, the optic disc gets damaged, with the result being a gradual loss of vision and a ‘cupped disc’ in which the center has become pale in contract to the healthy tissue around the rim.
The two basic types of Glaucoma include:
- Open Angle Glaucoma. This is the most common type of Glaucoma in the US, in which the drainage angle of the eye becomes less efficient over time and causes pressure within the eye to gradually increase. More than 90% of Glaucoma patients have this type.
- Closed Angle Glaucoma. In this type of Glaucoma, the iris blocks the drainage channel and pressure can rapidly increase as in acute angle closure Glaucoma, or cause scarring over time, resulting in Chronic angle closure Glaucoma.
Although glaucoma cannot be cured, in most cases it can be successfully controlled. The key to preservation of vision is twofold: early diagnosis and treatment with regular follow-up care. Coastal Eye in Bradenton recommends making an appointment with their Glaucoma team as soon as possible.
Because glaucoma is a silent disease and usually begins without symptoms, it is necessary to test for it on a regular basis. Annual eye exams help to detect glaucoma in its earliest forms.
Patients often ask the Bradenton Glaucoma specialists who should be checked for Glaucoma. This is a great question, since early detection is key to preserving vision. The following types of people should schedule a Glaucoma screening:
- Those with a family history of glaucoma
- Those who are 35 years of age or older
- African Americans
- Those with a history of severe eye inflammation or infection
- Those with a history of eye trauma
- Those who have had previous eye surgery
- Those with arthritis
- Those with steroid use: topical, oral, IV or inhaled
- Those with diabetes
Schedule an appointment with a Bradenton Glaucoma specialist from Coastal Eye by calling 941-748-1818, or go online to coastaleye.com to learn more about their eye Institute, their fellowship-trained eye doctors and the treatment options that are available to you.