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Glaucoma FAQs from Our Optometrist in Columbia

Our optometrist at Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates in Columbia offers comprehensive vision exams that include testing for glaucoma, which can damage your optic nerve. 

glaucoma FAQs from our optometrist in columbia

What does it mean if I am told I have glaucoma?

Glaucoma occurs when the pressure in one or both eyes increases beyond the normal ranges.  When this happens, it can damage your optic nerve, resulting in permanent loss of visual acuity.

Are there specific types of glaucoma?

There are two types of glaucoma, including open-angle and closed-angle.  Open-angle is the more common of the two, which occurs when the fluid inside your eye does not drain properly through the trabecular meshwork but there is no obvious damage or blockage of the trabecular meshwork.  Closed-angle occurs when the trabecular meshwork is blocked by the iris, which can cause sudden symptoms and is considered an emergency.

How do I know if I have high pressure in my eyes?

Most individuals do not notice any symptoms other than changes in their visual acuity.  Common symptoms for individuals with open-angle glaucoma include redness or bloodshot looking eyes and vision loss.  You may also have problems driving at night due to halos around headlights and streetlights.

If you have closed-angle glaucoma, you may notice sudden eye pain, immediate loss of visual acuity as well as nausea and vomiting.  These symptoms are considered a medical emergency.

Are there any risk factors associated with developing high pressure in the eyes?

This condition most commonly occurs in individuals over the age of 40 and individuals with a family history of the condition.  You may also develop high pressure if you have had a previous trauma to one or both of your eyes.

What tests are used to determine increased pressure in the eyes?

High pressure is detected via a simple non-invasive test.  The most common test involves blowing a puff of air into each of your eyes.  Alternately, a small handheld, pen-like device can be lightly placed against your eye to measure the pressure.  If you have high eye pressure, our eye doctor will want to look at the back of your eyes to examine your optic nerve.

What types of treatment do you offer at Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates?

Most treatments revolve around lowering the pressure inside your eyes and correcting your vision so that you can see clearly.  Our optometrist at Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates may recommend eye drops, which are designed to either reduce the amount of fluid produced by your eyes or to hasten its drainage.  If the drops do not provide the desired results, you may need a referral for laser surgery.  To correct your vision, we may recommend glasses or contact lenses.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Eye Doctor in Columbia

Vision care with our optometrist can be scheduled at our optometry clinic by calling us at 803-254-6306.  Our eye doctor in Columbia offers comprehensive eye exams that check for diseases and conditions of the eyes as well as glasses and contact lens exams.