Allegheny Ophthalmology Associates
Pittsburgh's Most Reliable, Local Ophthalmologists, located in Natrona Heights, PA
When the fluid pressure in the eye is abnormally elevated, the pressure may damage the optic nerve or the bundle of fibers carrying messages from the retina to the brain. Eye nerve damage causes a deterioration in sight at the edge of the field of vision. Even though the central vision can remain sharp, the loss of peripheral vision can be debilitating.
Glaucoma is a slowly progressive disease and can lead to loss of visual function if undetected or untreated. Glaucoma can be treated and loss of vision can be prevented. Contact our office, located in Natrona Heights, PA, by calling 724-224-4240 or scheduling an appointment online to meet with one of our ophthalmologists at Allegheny Ophthalmology Associates and discuss next steps for Glaucoma.
There are usually no definitive symptoms. However, in early cases, glaucoma causes a loss of peripheral vision and often goes unnoticed, as objects to the side are not at the center of attention. Everyday activities, like crossing a busy street can become potentially dangerous. Patients may also experience pain in the eye, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and rapid blurring or loss of vision.
Vision problems typically become noticeable only in the later stages of the disease, usually after major damage has been done and sight has been permanently affected.
Glaucoma is initially classified depending on whether the drainage angle of the eye is open (open-angle) or closed (angle closure or acute). The most common type of glaucoma is Progressive Open-Angle Glaucoma, which is hereditary. Currently, there is no cure, but disease progression can be slowed down with treatment. Examinations and early detection can help protect against the onset of open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma.
Age is a factor in developing glaucoma, which occurs more frequently in adults over the age of 45. Since the disease can be inherited, if you have relatives affected by glaucoma, you have an increased risk of developing it as well. However, just because someone in your family has glaucoma does not mean you will necessarily develop the disease.
People with diabetes, near-sightedness or poor blood circulation are more likely to develop glaucoma. Race may play a factor. African Americans are four to six times more likely to develop the disease than Caucasians.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, medication, laser, and surgical intervention can prevent or slow down vision loss. In the early stages, glaucoma is usually treated with daily eye drops to lower the pressure of the eye. Eye drops can actually delay or prevent the onset of glaucoma if you have elevated eye pressure. When eye drops are ineffective, surgery may be needed. Our team of ophthalmologists at Allegheny Ophthalmology Associates will find the right treatment plan for you.
During your eye exam, our providers will check the fluid pressure in your eyes, examine your vision at various distances, and dilates your pupils with drops to inspect your optic nerve. We will also measure your corneal thickness and check your visual field to measure side vision.
We recommend that if you are under 45 you should be checked for glaucoma every four years. If you are older than 45 with no risk factors, you should get eye exams every two years. If you are over 45 with risk factors should get an exam every year. Call our office or schedule an appointment online with one of our ophthalmologists.
If you have been experiencing vision changes, schedule an eye exam right away. If you have any of the symptoms or are experiencing vision loss due to macular degeneration, call our office or schedule an appointment online with one of our ophthalmologists.