Glaucoma is the leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide, and affects approximately four million people in the United States. Regular screening is vital to detect this disease and ensure proper treatment is provided early in its progression. Katzen Eye Group in Baltimore, Maryland provides glaucoma screening and has a glaucoma specialist on staff to ensure the highest quality treatment.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs when the aqueous humor, or the liquid inside the eyeball, builds up or does not drain properly, creating excess pressure within the eye. Eventually, this pressure causes permanent damage to the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss.
The exact cause of glaucoma is not known, but the liquid usually builds up when too much is produced or when the regular drainage system becomes blocked. Under normal conditions, the fluid is replenished regularly and drains out of the eyeballs into the bloodstream. When this process is disrupted, glaucoma results.
Glaucoma is diagnosed by measuring the pressure inside the eyeball. A procedure called tonometry tests intraocular pressure to see if it is higher than normal. A visual field test is also often administered to test peripheral vision. One symptom of glaucoma is gradual loss of peripheral vision, so the visual field test can determine if your peripheral vision is normal or if it has degraded.
Everyone should be tested for glaucoma during their regular yearly eye exam. If you are over forty or have other risk factors for glaucoma such as diabetes or steroid use, you should have your eyes checked more often. For more information about diagnosing and treating glaucoma, please contact the glaucoma specialists at Katzen Eye Group in Baltimore, Lutherville and Towson, Maryland to schedule a glaucoma consultation.