At Kresie and Penzler, M.D.’s PA you will get the best glaucoma care in an inviting, comfortable setting. As a member of the Glaucoma Research Foundation, our physicians understand the importance of early detection and treatment of this sight threatening disease.

Who Gets Glaucoma?
Anyone. But those at higher risk to develop glaucoma are:
• Over 60 years old
• People of African descent
• Relatives of people with glaucoma
• Hispanics in older age groups
• Very nearsighted (myopic)
• People with diabetes
• People with extensive steroid use
• People with thin central cornea

When Should You Get Your Eyes Checked for Glaucoma?
The Glaucoma Research Foundation recommends that people at high risk for glaucoma, especially people of African descent over age 35 and all people over 60, receive an eye examination through dilated pupils every one or two years.

What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually steals your vision. Often, glaucoma has no symptoms and can suddenly result in vision loss. Without proper treatment, glaucoma can lead to blindness. The good news is that with regular eye exams, early detection and treatment, you can preserve your sight. This guide will give you a complete introduction to the facts on glaucoma. Read on to learn more about how to recognize this disease, its symptoms and the treatment options available.

The Eye with Glaucoma
In most types of glaucoma, the eye’s drainage system becomes clogged so the intraocular fluid cannot drain. As the fluid builds up, it causes pressure to build inside the eye. High pressure damages the sensitive optic nerve and results in vision loss.

The Optic Disc
You have millions of nerve fibers that run from your retina to the optic nerve. These fibers meet at the optic disc. As fluid pressure within your eye increases, it damages these sensitive nerve fibers and they begin to die. As they die, the disc deigns to hollow and pushes the optic nerve into a cupped or curved shape. If the pressure remains too high for too long, the extra pressure can damage the optic nerve and result in vision loss.

Intraocular Pressure
It was once thought that high intraocular pressure (IOP) was the main cause of this optic nerve damage. Although IOP is clearly a risk factor, we now know that other factors must also be involved because people with “normal” IOP can experience vision loss from glaucoma.

How Vision Loss Occurs
Glaucoma usually occurs in both eyes, but extra fluid pressure often starts to build up in one eye first. This damage may cause gradual visual changes and then sight loss. Often, peripheral (side) vision is affected first, so the change in your vision may be small enough that you may not notice it. With time, your central (direct) vision will also begin to be lost.

Are There Symptoms?
In the most common form, glaucoma, buildup of fluid pressure happens very slowly. Often, there are not uncomfortable or painful symptoms. In less common kinds of glaucoma, symptoms can be more severe. These symptoms include:
• Hazy vision
• Eye and head pain
• Nausea or vomiting
• The appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights
• Sudden sight loss

Glaucoma affects people of all ages, from babies to older adults. Although everyone is at risk for glaucoma, those at higher risk include people over age 60, relatives of people with glaucoma, people of African descent, people with diabetes, people with extensive use of steroids, and people who have elevated eye pressure.

Researchers and doctors are still not sure why the eye’s drainage canals stop working correctly. We do know that glaucoma is not caused by too much reading, reading in low light, diet, wearing contact lenses, or other normal activities. We also know that glaucoma is not contagious, is not life-threatening, and rarely leads to blindness if found early and treated correctly.

What You Can Do To Prevent Vision Loss
Doctors recommend a glaucoma eye exam as part of regular eye exams for children, teenagers and adults. Everyone should have a thorough glaucoma exam around the age of 40, then every two to four years afterward. If you are at higher risk, you should have a thorough exam every one to two years after age 35. Sight loss resulting from glaucoma cannot be reversed. However, early detection and careful, lifelong treatment can maintain vision. Glaucoma can often be controlled with medication or surgery. I*f you are diagnosed, it is important that you follow your treatment plan without fail.