Glaucoma is often referred to as the silent thief of sight because it doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms until your vision is irreparably damaged and is the leading cause of blindness in people age 60 and older. Dr. Wallace Goldban, MD, offers glaucoma screening and treatment at Desert Ophthalmology in Palm Desert and Palm Springs, California. Call or use online booking to schedule your next eye exam today.

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What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease where excess fluid in your eyeball puts pressure on your optic nerve. The extra pressure eventually damages your optic nerve and causes blindness.

There are two types of glaucoma: primary open angle and closed angle:

Primary open angle glaucoma

This is the most common form of the disease and develops when the drainage angles in your eye are blocked. Your eyes aren’t able to drain fluid efficiently and the extra fluid creates high pressure in your eye. Open-angle glaucoma tends to develop slowly and doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages.

Closed-angle glaucoma

This form develops when your iris is too close to your drainage angle and covers the opening, preventing effective drainage. Closed-angle glaucoma can develop slowly, but you might also experience rapid onset in an episode referred to as an acute attack. You’ll have symptoms that may include suddenly blurry vision and eye pain.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

When glaucoma develops slowly, it doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages, so having your eyes tested regularly is the only way to diagnose and treat the disease early before it damages your vision.

However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with the team at Desert Ophthalmology immediately:

  • Severe pain in your eyes or forehead
  • Decreased or blurred vision
  • Blind spots in your peripheral vision
  • Seeing rainbows or halos
  • Nausea

Glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief of sight” because it develops slowly and usually doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s too late. This makes getting regular eye exams very important.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

While optometrists use a puff air test to diagnose glaucoma, the ophthalmologists at Desert Ophthalmology do a more accurate glaucoma test to identify and diagnose the condition. During your eye exam, they test the pressure in your eye. If your eye pressure is elevated, they perform additional testing to confirm your diagnosis.

The doctors also examine your eyes to check the drainage angles and your optic nerve for signs of damage, as well as testing your peripheral vision for blind spots.

How is glaucoma treated?

The doctors at Desert Ophthalmology provide medical and surgical treatment for glaucoma. In most cases, they can resolve glaucoma with medicated eye drops to open your drainage angles. When your glaucoma is severe, Dr. Goldban also offers surgical treatment to widen and open your drainage angles with procedures such as trabeculoplasty and iridotomy.

Call Desert Ophthalmology or schedule a comprehensive eye exam online today so that if you have glaucoma, you can get the treatment you need before your vision is affected.