More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma, according to the Bright Focus Foundation. Could you be one of them? Understanding the signs and symptoms of the sight-stealing disease and visiting your Plant City, Sun City, and Brandon, FL, eye doctors at Brandon Eye Associates for regular eye exams can help you protect your eyesight.
How glaucoma damages your vision
An increase in the pressure inside your eye can damage your optic nerve. The nerve transmits impulses from your retina, the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye, to the brain. Once the impulses reach the brain, they're processed into recognizable images. If the nerve is damaged, blind spots in your field of vision can occur. Unfortunately, damage to the optic nerve is usually permanent.
Pressure can rise inside your eye due to drainage issues. If you have open-angle glaucoma, fluids may not drain from your eye quickly enough. A blockage in the drainage channels is responsible for increased pressure in acute angle-closure glaucoma. Sometimes, pressure can rise dangerously high even if there isn't a drainage problem.
Glaucoma signs and symptoms
Open-angle glaucoma doesn't cause any noticeable changes in your vision in the earliest stages. This type of glaucoma usually affects your peripheral, or side, vision, first. By the time you notice that your side vision has decreased, the damage may be permanent.
Fortunately, a simple test offered by your Plant City, Sun City, and Brandon eye doctors during your annual vision exam can determine if the ocular pressure is too high. Glaucoma testing only takes a few seconds but offers important benefits for your visual health. If you're diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma, prescription eye drops or laser or other types of surgery can improve drainage and prevent damage to your vision.
You will notice sudden symptoms if you have acute angle-closure glaucoma. These symptoms can include blurred vision, loss of vision, severe eye pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, halos around lights, and red eyes. Visit our office immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is usually treated with medication to reduce pressure and laser surgery to clear the blockage in your drainage channels.
Don't let glaucoma damage your vision. Schedule a checkup with the eye doctors at Brandon Eye Associates in Plant City, Sun City, and Brandon, FL, by calling (813) 684-2211 to make your appointment.