Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma and affects about three million Americans, but it has no early symptoms, causes no pain, and in the beginning vision stays normal. But without treatment, people with open-angle glaucoma will slowly lose eyesight because of optic nerve damage. Glaucoma is the
Once eyesight is lost due to glaucoma damaging the optic nerve, it cannot be restored. But there are effective treatments that can stop the progression of open-angle glaucoma, including eye drops, oral medications, laser, and conventional surgery.
Regular comprehensive eye examinations can detect open-angle glaucoma before there is any vision loss and treatment to stop the progression can be started.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve. Between the iris and cornea of your eye there is a fluid-filled chamber. The fluid in this chamber is called aqueous humor. Aqueous humor nourishes the eye and keeps it inflated. The eye continually produces aqueous humor and it continually flows out. The production and drainage of aqueous humor is a delicate balance that must be maintained for eye health.
In open-angle glaucoma the drainage angle is open, but the aqueous humor is passing too slowly through the eye’s spongy meshwork drain and this build-up of fluid increases eye pressure. Another risk factor for glaucoma is high blood pressure so it is important if you have high blood pressure to work with your primary care physician on a treatment plan that keeps your blood pressure at a proper level.
Open-Angle Glaucoma Treatments
There are many effective treatments for open-angle glaucoma. There are eye drops to increase the amount of fluid that drains from your eyes and others that lower the amount of fluid your eye makes. There are also pills that can be used to bring down the pressure in your eyes. Laser surgery can be used to stretch the drainage holes and conventional surgery can be used to create a new opening for the fluid to leave the eye.
If you are diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma you may need to have your eye pressure checked every week or every month until it is under control. Even when your eye pressure is at a safe level you may need to see your eye doctor several times a year for eye examinations. A good relationship with your eye doctor and following all his or her instructions is the key to effective glaucoma care.
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