Making Decisions About Home Care

3 Answers To Common Questions About Glaucoma

by Mae Ferguson

If your optometrist has just diagnosed you with glaucoma, you may have been shocked with this diagnosis.  When this happens, it can be difficult to think of the questions you should ask your eye doctor. Below are two common questions people have when they are first diagnosed with glaucoma, as well as the answers to these questions.

Why did you get glaucoma?

You likely did not do anything at all that caused your glaucoma. Glaucoma may be due to genetics. Your doctor will check your eyes for pressure, as high eye pressure plays a role.

Talk to your doctor about some health conditions that can cause glaucoma. For example, low blood pressure can cause this, because blood cannot get into your eyes to supply them with much needed oxygen, as well as other nutrients. 

How is glaucoma treated?

If you see your doctor at the beginning stages of glaucoma, they can prescribe special eye drops to help reduce your eye pressure.  If the eye drops do not lower the blood pressure adequately, the doctor can prescribe a medication along with the eye drops.

If eye drops or medications do not work properly, there are surgery options your eye doctor will suggest to you. If you have cataracts along with glaucoma, an eye stent may be placed in your eyes to reduce pressure. This procedure can usually be done in a few minutes and may be done in your eye doctor's office. 

Another surgical procedure your eye doctor can suggest is placing a small hole in your eye so that fluid will drain from the interior of your eyes, which can help with eye pressure. Your ophthalmologist can explain this surgical procedure to you, as well as other surgery options you have.

These treatments and surgeries are not a cure for glaucoma, but they can greatly slow down the progression of glaucoma.

What will the eye doctor check at each visit?

Each time you visit your eye doctor after being diagnosed with glaucoma, they will do a tonometry test to measure the pressure in your eyes. They will also look at your optic nerve appearance, and give you a visual field test.

Your eye doctor can explain to you how these tests work, as well as any other tests they may do.

It is important that you see your eye doctor for treatment as soon as you notice any symptoms of glaucoma. This is because it will continue to get worse, and you could possibly become completely blind.   Contact a doctor, like Country Hills Eye Center, if you have concerns.