One of the biggest questions that patients have after learning that they have glaucoma is “now what?” In many instances, this question goes unasked. What’s behind it is fear of the unknown. Glaucoma isn’t a condition with which most people are familiar. Therefore, essential details such as glaucoma’s ability to cause vision loss can feel incredibly frightening. Rest assured, your Ocala ophthalmologist will do everything possible to help you face your diagnosis with confidence that your eyesight will be well-managed from the point of diagnosis forward.
Glaucoma Treatment Equals Maintenance
Glaucoma is an eye disease for which there is currently no cure. The objective of treating this condition is to manage the pressure within the eye so the optic nerve does not suffer irreparable damage. To fulfill this objective, we typically develop a protocol in which eye exams are scheduled two to three times a year. Because glaucoma can worsen slowly over time, these visits allow us to carefully observe intraocular pressure as well as manage it with eye drops. At each visit, several aspects of the eyes are assessed to confirm the effectiveness of medicated drops.
Glaucoma care may involve:
- Measurement of intraocular pressure.
- Measurement of corneal thickness to better observe pressure (the thickness of the cornea may impact the pressure within the eye).
- Pupil dilation to carefully observe the optic nerves.
- A visual field test to evaluate peripheral vision.
The data collected from glaucoma exams helps us gauge the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of medication. Using these measurements as a compass, we can determine if glaucoma has stabilized or is progressing. As needed, treatment may be adjusted to meet the need for depressurization better.
Vigilance is Necessary
While we would never want a glaucoma patient to live in constant worry that her eyesight will fade away, we do encourage diligence in the use of medication and in maintaining routine follow-up visits. Additionally, vigilance should be practiced to detect warning signs that glaucoma may be getting worse. Symptoms such as the following should be evaluated sooner rather than later.
- Diminished ability to distinguish colors
- Reduced depth perception
- Increased clumsiness or difficulty moving through physical space
- Challenged night vision
- Halos around lights
- An aching sensation in the eyes
- Eye discomfort or fatigue after reading or other close work
- Loss of clarity in any part of the field of vision
Glaucoma symptoms do not occur until the optic nerve is compressed. Don’t wait for signs to alert you to glaucoma. Schedule your comprehensive eye exam in our Ocala office at (352) 237-8400.