Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which is the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. The optic nerve is made up of many nerve fibers, like an electric cable containing numerous wires. When damage to the optic nerve fibers occurs, blind spots develop. These blind spots usually go undetected until the optic nerve is significantly damaged. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results.
Clear liquid, called the aqueous humor, circulates inside the front portion of the eye. A small amount of this fluid is produced constantly, and an equal amount flows out of the eye through a microscopic drainage system, maintaining a constant level of pressure within the eye.
Because the eye is a closed structure, if the drainage area for the aqueous humor – called the drainage angle – is blocked, the excess fluid cannot flow out of the eye. Fluid pressure within the eye will increase, pushing against the optic nerve and potentially causing damage.
Who Is at risk?
Your Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut ophthalmologist considers many kinds of information to determine your risk for developing the disease. The most important risk factors include:
- Elevated eye pressure
- Family history of glaucoma
- African ancestry
- Past eye injuries
Regular eye examinations by your Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut ophthalmologist are the best way to detect glaucoma. A glaucoma screening that checks only the pressure of your eye is not sufficient to determine if you have glaucoma. The only sure way to detect glaucoma is to have a complete eye examination.
Please follow the links below to learn about glaucoma treatments:
For more information on glaucoma, to schedule an eye exam and explore your glaucoma treatment options, please contact us today.