Glaucoma in Amarillo, TX

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Protect Your Eyesight & Ocular Health

Eye exams are often known for the “air puff test.” You may find this test annoying, or even dread it; however, it’s important. The puff of air is a non-contact measurement of your intraocular pressure (IOP), which, if elevated, is a sign of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve and can eventually lead to vision loss, if not managed appropriately. Glaucoma can progress without noticeable symptoms, so without regular eye exams, it can go unnoticed until significant damage occurs.

What Causes Glaucoma?

Ultimately, glaucoma leads to damage of the optic nerve and is usually associated with increased pressure in the eye. However, there are various forms of glaucoma, and not all are related to increased eye pressure. Glaucoma also seems to be related to genetics and runs in families.

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. It progresses slowly and painlessly and can lead to significant vision loss before any noticeable symptoms occur. It is believed to be caused by the inefficiency of the eye’s drainage system.

Our eyes contain a clear fluid called the aqueous humor, which supplies nutrients to parts of the eye. It flows through the pupil and is drained through the trabecular meshwork, a network of drainage canals in the eye. If these drainage components don’t work well, then the aqueous humor doesn’t drain properly, leading to increased IOP, eventually causing damage to the optic nerve.

Angle-closure glaucoma is less common and is considered a medical emergency.

It can occur suddenly when the eye’s drainage angle between the iris and cornea becomes blocked or closed. This blockage prevents the aqueous humor from draining, leading to increased IOP and damage to the optic nerve and visual field.

There may be a slow lead up to an angle-closure attack. Particularly if one’s drainage angle is naturally narrowing as the lens of the eye becomes dense with age, pushing the iris forward.

Normal-tension, or low-tension, glaucoma occurs when the IOP remains in the normal range, but optic nerve damage still occurs.

There are some theories on why this happens. One suggestion is that those who develop normal-tension glaucoma have an unusually sensitive optic nerve, or their optic nerve has reduced blood supply due to an additional condition, such as atherosclerosis.

Secondary glaucoma generally occurs due to an injury, another type of eye disease, medications, or ocular abnormalities. Very rarely, eye surgery can lead to this form of glaucoma.

Diagnosing Glaucoma

Monitoring for glaucoma is done during every comprehensive eye exam. We use a series of non-invasive tests, including that old familiar “air puff test.” We may also use a handheld tonometer called Icare, which is quick, efficient, and great for children or those worried about the puff test, or Goldmann applanation tonometry to test the IOP.

Is There a Cure for Glaucoma?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma. However, there are ways to manage glaucoma and prevent future vision loss if you’ve been diagnosed.

Your personalized management plan will depend on your situation and type of glaucoma, but managing this eye disease comes down to controlling IOP and preventing optic nerve damage. This can range from prescription eye drops that reduce the pressure in the eye to surgery that improves the drainage.

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, it will require life-long maintenance and commitment to protecting your vision and ocular health. Early detection during regular comprehensive eye exams is vital for preventing disease progression. Protect yourself and your loved ones, and please book an exam today.

Where to Find Us

You can find our beautiful clinic on S Coulter Street, right next to Freddy’s Burgers.

Address

5221 South Coulter St
Amarillo, TX 79119

Contact Information

Hours of Operations

Monday
9 AM4 PM
Tuesday
9 AM4 PM
Wednesday
9 AM4 PM
Thursday
9 AM4 PM
Friday
9 AM4 PM
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