Glaucoma – The Thief of Sight


Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. It is estimated that approximately three million American adults have this eye disease. Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that shows no early symptoms or warning signs. It is caused when the optic nerve becomes damaged, which can ultimately result in blindness if not diagnosed early. Typically, glaucoma is caused when intraocular pressure (IOP), the pressure in the eye, is elevated; however, there are other causes that can contribute to the continued damage of the optic nerve. The Long Beach glaucoma specialists at SoCal Eye can diagnose this disease and develop a treatment plan to preserve your vision.

A patient in the early stages of glaucoma will not see any visible changes in his or her vision. As the condition progresses, blind spots can develop in a patient’s peripheral vision. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to complete blindness.

Risk Factors of Glaucoma:

  • Age
  • Prior eye injury
  • Elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP)
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African- or Spanish-American ancestry
  • Less central corneal thickness
  • Farsightedness or nearsightedness
  • Systemic health problems such as steroid medication, migraines or poor circulation

Glaucoma – Two Types To Understand

Narrow-Angle Glaucoma –symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma include eye pain, headaches, halos around lights, dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea and vomiting. This form of glaucoma can occur suddenly, when the iris (the colored potion of the eye) is pushed or pulled forward. This movement can cause internal eye structures to be blocked. When this occurs, the eye’s internal pressure may spike, causing damage to the optic nerve.

Open-Angle Glaucoma –Most patients that have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice any changes in their vision, as this form of glaucoma displays no signs or symptoms. That is why glaucoma is called the “silent thief of sight.” In open-angle glaucoma, the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve.

Treatments for Glaucoma

There are several different treatment options available at SoCal Eye to help manage glaucoma. The most common treatments include laser treatment, surgery, and medications. Each of these treatments will help control glaucoma and lower the IOP in your eyes. Your Long Beach glaucoma specialist will determine the best procedure for the health of your eyes.

As long as you are diagnosed early, glaucoma can be controlled, and you can enjoy the rest of your life without your eye health interfering with your activities of daily living.

Schedule An Eye Exam Today

If you have a family history of glaucoma, contact the Long Beach glaucoma specialists at SoCal Eye today. We will schedule a dilated eye exam and measure the pressure in your eyes to determine if you have glaucoma.