Everyone should make it a point to see the eye doctor every year for an exam. Even if you think that your vision is perfect, you should still make annual appointments. During the eye exam, your optometrist will do more than test your vision. They will also check the health of your eyes. There are many conditions of the eye that show no early symptoms. It isn't until you are already suffering from permanent vision loss that you start seeing symptoms. One of these conditions is glaucoma.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma occurs when the pressure in your eyes is abnormally high, which can cause damage to your optic nerve. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60. While the condition can occur at any age, it is most common in older adults.


Types Of Glaucoma And The Symptoms

There are two types of glaucoma, and each type comes with its own set of symptoms.● Open-Angle Glaucoma: Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type. The disease comes on so gradually that you won't notice any change until the condition has progressed significantly. The most common symptoms include patchy blind spots in your peripheral vision. It usually occurs in both eyes. In the more advanced stages, tunnel vision can occur.● Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This is the least common of the two types of glaucoma. The early stages cause severe headaches, eye pain, nausea and vomiting, blurry vision, halos around lights, and redness of the eye.

Risk Factors

There are certain factors that put a person more at risk of developing glaucoma than others. These risk factors include:● High intraocular pressure● Being over 60 years old● Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans are more at risk● Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia● Having a cornea with a thin center● Extreme nearsightedness and farsightedness● Experiencing an eye injury or having certain types of eye surgery● Having a family history of glaucoma● Taking certain medications and eye drops for a long time

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

During your annual eye exam, your optometrist will check the pressure in your eyes. If the pressure is high, your eye doctor might order photos to check the condition of your eye. They might also order a visual field test to check for blind spots in your peripheral vision. In most cases, your optometrist will schedule a follow-up appointment to check your eye pressure again.

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma. There are medications available that can keep your eye pressure down and slow the progression of the disease. In most cases, the drug that is prescribed in the form of an eye drop. If you cannot handle the drops well, your optometrist might prescribe an oral medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. The sooner the condition is caught, the sooner treatment can begin which is why annual eye exams are so important.

Glaucoma FAQs

Glaucoma is an eye disease that often occurs with aging. The condition can cause damage to eye structures and the ultimate loss of vision. However, treatment is available to reduce the risk of vision loss. At Lakeside Eye Associates in Huntersville, NC, we offer management of eye diseases like glaucoma, to help you care for your eyes at every age.

  • What Is Glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the optic nerve, a critical structure that transmits images from the eye to the brain. The increased pressure in the eyes that occurs with glaucoma can cause the fluid within the eyes to compress the optic nerve, leading to permanent damage to the tissue and loss of vision.

  • Who Is At Risk For Developing Glaucoma?

    Generally, glaucoma occurs in individuals over the age of 60. African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans are at higher risk for the disease. A family history of glaucoma increases risk. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, increase the risk of glaucoma. Severe nearsightedness or farsightedness is also associated with increased risk. An eye injury or use of corticosteroid medications increases the risk of developing glaucoma.

  • What Are The Symptoms Of Glaucoma?

    The symptoms of glaucoma depend on the type of disease. In the early stages, there may be no warning symptoms in either type. In open-angle glaucoma, blind spots may occur in the central field or peripherally. In acute angle-closure glaucoma, eye pain, haloes around lights, blurring and redness of the eyes can occur. This is an eye emergency and should receive immediate treatment by an eye professional.

  • Can Glaucoma Be Treated?

    The good news is there are a number of treatments for glaucoma to prevent or minimize damage to the optic nerve. Eye drops are one of the standard treatments, which lower the pressure in the eyes. These medications may be prostaglandins, beta-blockers, alpha-adrenergic agonists or other types of drugs. Oral medications may also be prescribed. A number of surgical procedures can also be done to reduce eye pressure and prevent damage.


To be sure that your eyes are healthy and that the pressure in your eye is not high, you should make an appointment with Lakeside Eye Associates in Huntersville. Our doctors of optometry will perform tests to ensure that your eyes are healthy and free of disease.
Dr. Hearn and Dr. Salazar combine their extensive training in optometry to provide quality vision care for their patients in Huntersville, NC, and surrounding areas. We offer a range of services, including examinations, contact lens fitting, pediatric eye care, vision therapy, Ortho-K therapy, pre- and post-surgery consultation, and management of eye diseases. Call Lakeside Eye Associates today at 704-896-3311 for an appointment to have your eyes tested for glaucoma and to learn the best ways to preserve your vision at every age.