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About 3 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of them know they have it. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, but blindness from glaucoma is often preventable with early treatment from one of our qualified eye doctors or eye surgeons in Brandon and Plant City.
Like many eye diseases, glaucoma usually does not cause noticeable symptoms in its earliest stages. Glaucoma develops gradually and robs you of your sight very slowly. Early detection and treatment by an eye doctor, also known as an ophthalmologist, can help you preserve your sight.
Glaucoma causes blindness by damaging the optic nerve that carries information about the images your eyes see to your brain. Each eye contains an optic nerve that connects the retina, a layer light-sensitive tissue lining the back of your eye, to your brain. Somewhat like an electric cable made of many wires bundled together, the optic nerve is a thick cord of nerve fibers that transmit signals from your retina to your brain.
Light brings information about things around you into your eye. The light strikes a layer of light-sensitive tissue, known as the retina, which lines the back of your eye. The optic nerve connects to the retina and carries the information gathered by the retina to your brain, which interprets the signals as the images you see.
A healthy eye contains a small amount of clear fluid, known as aqueous humor, circulating inside the front portion of the eye. The aqueous humor maintains the pressure needed to inflate the eye; it also provides nutrition to parts of the eye that do not have their own blood supply.
Your eye continually produces a small amount of aqueous humor. To maintain constant healthy pressure, an equal amount of aqueous humor fluid flows out of your eye. Glaucoma interferes with the way the fluid flows out, leading to high levels of aqueous fluid inside the eye. Consequently, fluid pressure begins to build up. Over time, excessive pressure damages the delicate fibers of the optic nerve.
One of our trusted Brandon or Plant City eye doctors will perform a variety of tests to diagnose glaucoma. Tonometry is used to measure the pressure inside your eyes. Gonioscopy helps your ophthalmologist determine what type of glaucoma you have. Our eye doctor also uses ophthalmoscopy to inspect your optic nerve for signs of damage.
Treatment can include glaucoma drops, glaucoma surgery, or both. A daily dose of medicated eye drops reduces eye pressure by either reducing the amount of fluid produced by the eye or helping this fluid drain. Eye surgery improves the flow of fluid out of the eye.
For more information about glaucoma, its detection and treatment, make an appointment with Brandon Eye Associates. We have offices conveniently located in Brandon and Plant City, Florida. Dial 813-684-2211 to make an appointment.
I have benefited tremendously from the eye care I received from Brandon Eye Associates
John/ Brandon, FL
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