Glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness, affects over 3 million Americans. It doesn’t usually cause symptoms in its early stages, so routine eye exams with Nastaran Golriz, OD, at idoc Optical in Washington, DC, are the best way to diagnose the disease in its early stages. If you have a family history of glaucoma or are due for an eye exam, call the practice or make an appointment online today.
Glaucoma is a disease that occurs when the pressure inside your eye increases and damages your optic nerve. In most cases, the condition is due to excess fluid accumulating in the front part of your eye.
The two most common types of glaucoma are open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma. You have small openings in your eye between your cornea and iris, called drainage angles, that allow extra fluid to escape your eye.
Open-angle is the most prevalent type of the disease. Your drainage angles are unobstructed, but an issue in the trabecular network beyond your iris interferes with efficient eye drainage. Open-angle glaucoma develops gradually and doesn’t typically cause symptoms.
Closed-angle glaucoma develops rapidly in an “attack” when something blocks your drainage angle. Your eye pressure increases quickly, causing symptoms including headache, blurry vision, severe eye pain, and rainbow-colored halos.
A closed-angle glaucoma attack is an eye emergency that requires immediate treatment to prevent blindness.
Your eye continuously makes aqueous humor, a fluid that fills your eye. It should drain as rapidly as it’s produced. When it doesn’t drain properly, your eye pressure increases.
Your risk of glaucoma increases if you have a family history of the disease, have a strong prescription for corrective lenses, or a condition like diabetes or high blood pressure. Prior eye surgery and injury can also increase your risk of glaucoma.
Dr. Golriz checks your eye pressure during your exam. If you have elevated eye pressure, she uses more advanced testing to confirm your diagnosis.
She checks for signs of optic nerve damage and uses a slit lamp to examine your drainage angles. She also tests your peripheral vision.
Your glaucoma treatment depends on your specific needs. Dr. Golriz provides medical and surgical options to address glaucoma.
For example, you might need medicated eye drops to lower your eye pressure. She also offers trabeculoplasty and iridotomy to widen and open your drainage angles.
If you’re due for an eye exam or have concerns about glaucoma, call idoc Optical or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment.