Glaucoma Specialist

Rothchild Eye Institute

Ophthalmologists located in Delray Beach, FL

Glaucoma is a complex eye disease that’s a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Eric J. Rothchild, MD, and the team at Rothchild Eye Institute, which services Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Boynton Beach, Florida, are committed to helping you control your glaucoma and prevent long-term complications of this difficult eye disorder. For an evaluation and personalized treatment plan, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma refers to several types of progressive eye disorders that lead to optic nerve damage. This causes your vision to become increasingly impaired and can even lead to significant vision loss or blindness.

Damage from glaucoma occurs when the fluid pressure inside your eye is high enough to cause damage to the nerve fibers, which are responsible for communicating between your eye and brain. When these nerve fibers are damaged, your vision becomes impaired. This can lead to total vision loss if the underlying cause of the increased pressure is not addressed.

What are the different types of glaucoma?

There are several types of glaucoma that are differentiated by their underlying cause. The types of glaucoma include:

  • Primary open-angle glaucoma: caused by an inability to properly drain fluid from the inside of the eye
  • Angle-closure glaucoma: caused by complete blockage of fluid drainage from the inside of the eye
  • Secondary glaucoma: caused by eye disease, eye injury, chronic disease, medications, or structural abnormalities of the eye
  • Normal-tension glaucoma: causes damage to the optic nerve without abnormally elevated eye pressures

Once glaucoma has caused damage to your eye, your vision can’t be recovered. For this reason, glaucoma should be closely monitored and treated to avoid progressive vision loss.

Who is at risk of developing glaucoma?

Glaucoma usually affects adults over the age of 60, though it can potentially affect people of any age.

Other risk factors include:

  • Being African-American, Asian, or Hispanic
  • A family history of glaucoma
  • Extreme nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids
  • History of eye injury or eye surgery

Medical conditions that could predispose you to have glaucoma include diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary artery disease, and sickle cell anemia.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Glaucoma usually doesn’t exhibit any notable symptoms in its early stages. As the disease progresses you could begin to note changes in your vision however, including patchy blind spots or decreased peripheral vision.

Angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and includes sudden or gradual onset of symptoms such as:

  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain and redness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Halos around lights
  • Blurred vision

Regular eye exams can help identify any glaucoma risk factors you have as well as increasing your chances of early detection if you develop the condition.

What treatments are available for glaucoma?

Treatments available at Rothchild Eye Institute to treat your glaucoma and prevent long-term vision loss include:

  • Eye drops: to decrease fluid production or encourage fluid drainage
  • Oral medications: to decrease eye pressure
  • Laser therapy: to unblock drainage channels
  • Drainage tubes: to help shunt fluid and drain excess fluid

Other minimally invasive procedures or eye surgery may be performed to help the correct the underlying causes of your glaucoma.

To be evaluated for glaucoma, call Rothchild Eye Institute or schedule an appointment online today.