While glaucoma is often thought to be a disease in and of itself, the term glaucoma actually refers to the group of diseases that affect the pressure around the optic nerve. Glaucoma usually occurs over a long period of time as pressure around the optic nerve changes, slowly leading to permanent damage of the optic nerve. This can result in visual field loss, and eventual blindness.
There are two basic categories of glaucoma, known as “open angle” and “closed angle.” Open-angle glaucoma tends to be chronic and progresses very slowly. Most patients do not notice the signs of open-angle glaucoma until the damage has progressed significantly. Closed-angle glaucoma, however, can appear suddenly, and is usually quite painful. Though damage occurs much more quickly, the pain associated with closed-angle glaucoma usually causes patients to seek medical treatment before the disease progresses to too serious of a case.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, and affects approximately one in two hundred people who are age fifty and younger. For those over the age of eighty, the number of those affected jumps to one in every ten. If the condition is detected early enough, however, it is possible that surgery can slow or stop the deterioration of sight due to the glaucoma.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be showing signs of glaucoma:
- Patchy loss of peripheral vision
- Reduced contrast sensitivity
- Pain in or behind the eye ball
- Headache with nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances with halos around light
Contact Beverly Hills Vision Institute today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Khodabakhsh. He will perform a thorough examination and determine whether or not you have glaucoma, and what your surgical options might be.