My Mother Had Glaucoma – Does This Mean I Am At Risk?

Glaucoma is a condition that can cause serious damage to your eyes and even loss of vision. However, many people who have glaucoma are able to control their symptoms. Knowing whether you’re at risk and seeing your eye doctor in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area is important. If you had a parent who had glaucoma, then it’s important to know your risk level and what you should do to take care of your eyes.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the optic nerve, usually due to pressure buildup inside the eye.

Is Glaucoma Hereditary?

If your immediate family members have had glaucoma, then you are also at strong risk of glaucoma yourself.

Who Is At Risk for Glaucoma?

People who are at risk for glaucoma include:

  • People older than 55 years old
  • People with a family history of glaucoma
  • People who are black, Hispanic or Asian heritage
  • People who have had an eye injury
  • People who suffer from extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • People who have been diagnosed with conditions like migraines, high blood pressure and diabetes

What Are the Signs of Glaucoma?

Sometimes, glaucoma has no symptoms at all in the early stages. However, if you have glaucoma, you may notice problems like severe eye pain, blurring vision, severe headaches, halos around lights, gradual vision loss, and patchy blind spots. If you notice any of these symptoms or a sudden change in your vision, see your eye doctor as soon as possible.

How Can I Avoid Glaucoma?

While you can’t prevent glaucoma, you can see the eye doctor regularly to get examined for this condition. If your eye doctor catches it early, they could slow the progress of the condition to help save your vision.

Are you at risk for glaucoma? If you are, it’s important to get regular eye exams in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. Call Lappen Eye Care today to make your next eye appointment.

Glaucoma Vs. Cataracts: Understanding the Two Conditions

Glaucoma and cataracts are two common optical conditions, and because they’re both experienced by older people, they have a way of being confused. We’ll look at how they affect the eye and what people should know about keeping them at bay.

The Two Conditions

Glaucoma in Pittsburgh, PA, is a type of nerve damage, one that’s usually caused by too much pressure in the eyeball. The more fluid there is, the more strain it will put on the nerve. Cataracts are a type of lens damage, one that’s usually caused by the standard aging process. What was once a clear lens over the eye, helping people see in crystal clarity, can become yellowed over time. Both conditions can result in vision loss, so it’s important to have a handle on how your eyesight changes over time.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of glaucoma and cataracts have some degree of overlap. For both, it’s common to have blurry vision or sensitivity in the eye. The main difference is that the pressure of glaucoma is likely to manifest in a headache or a halo effect around lights. In general, neither condition requires emergency treatment, with the exception being angle-closure glaucoma. This results in intense and sudden pain, visual disturbance, and nausea.

See an Optometrist in McMurray, PA

If you want to determine your risk level for either condition or catch the problem as early as possible, it starts with seeing the right optometrist. With optometry offices in Greensburg, Pittsburgh, McMurray, and South Hills, the staff at Lappen Eye Care is here to monitor your eyes over time. We can also give you anything from diet tips to lifestyle changes that may help curb your odds of developing either condition.

My Mom Had Glaucoma – Am I At Risk Too?

Some eye conditions have genetic risk factors. Is glaucoma one of them? If you have a close relative with glaucoma, it’s important to know whether you are at increased risk for glaucoma yourself. Your eye doctor in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area can answer your questions, but below is some information that can help you determine your risk level for this serious eye condition.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the optic nerve, usually due to increased pressure in the eye.

What Are the Risk Factors for Glaucoma?

Anyone can get glaucoma. However, you are at increased risk to get this condition if:

  • you are African American, over age 40
  • you are an adult over age 60
  • glaucoma runs in your family
  • you have diabetes

In other words, if your mother had glaucoma, you are at increased risk to get the condition yourself. If you have an increased risk of getting glaucoma, your eye doctor may recommend getting a comprehensive eye exam on a regular basis.

How Can You Tell If You Have Glaucoma?

If you have glaucoma, you may or may not notice any symptoms in the beginning. For some types of glaucoma, the first symptoms are damage to the eyesight. Once visions is lost due to glaucoma, the damage is permanent.

Because some types of glaucoma have no symptoms until vision is lost, the only way to know for sure if you have glaucoma is to see the eye doctor regularly. Your eye doctor can diagnose the condition.

If you have glaucoma, it’s important to get glaucoma treatment in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area as soon as you’re diagnosed. The earlier you get treatment, the better. Call Lappen Eye Care today to get diagnosis and treatment.

Lappen Eye Care – What Are the Early Signs of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that causes vision loss due to pressure on the optic nerves. The two most prevalent types of glaucoma are angle-closure glaucoma (ACG) and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Each has unique symptoms and treatment approaches.

Diagnosing and Treating ACG

This type of glaucoma causes angle closure in multiple areas, leading to optic nerve damage and eye pressure. Complete or total vision loss may follow. The most common symptoms associated with ACG include:

  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Seeing rainbow-colored circles when exposed to bright lights
  • Severe head and eye pain with or without nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden loss of sight

Increased eye pressure with ACG can develop slowly over time or come on suddenly. During the early stages of ACG, one or more angles may close but you do not yet feel increased pressure in your eyes. Please contact our optometry practice in Pittsburg, PA for an immediate appointment if you have any of the above symptoms. The most common way to treat OCG is with prescription eye drops to decrease eye pressure and optic nerve damage.

Diagnosing and Treating POAG

POAG typically presents no warning signs in the early stages. This type develops slowly over many years before you notice a decrease in your visual acuity. Unfortunately, optometrists cannot reverse vision loss from POAG with medication or surgery. Regular eye exams in Pittsburgh, PA are critical at detecting this disease before it robs you of sight.

When one of the optometrists at Lappen Eye Care detects glaucoma during a routine eye examination, we can prescribe specialty eye drops or other medication to help protect your vision. People of Latino or African-American heritage have a higher risk of developing POAG, as do those with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or who have a close family member with the disease.

Is It Possible to Have Glaucoma and Not Know It?

Glaucoma is a condition that can impact anyone – and a lot of people wouldn’t know they had it until they started to lose their vision. Some people are at higher risk for glaucoma than others, but anyone can be affected by this unfortunate disease.

To protect yourself, see your eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA. Your eye doctor can look for the early signs of glaucoma, and if glaucoma is detected, can help keep your condition under control.

Signs of Glaucoma

For some people, the early stages of glaucoma may have no symptoms. It’s very possible to have glaucoma and not know it! Once glaucoma gets into the later stages, these are the symptoms you can expect:

  • Vision loss
  • Red eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye pressure
  • Headaches
  • Low vision

How to Know If You Have Glaucoma

The best way to find out whether you have glaucoma is to see the doctor. Some symptoms of glaucoma are similar to symptoms of other eye conditions, so only your doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis.

If you’re at high risk for glaucoma (like if you have diabetes), your eye doctor may request that you come in annually for an eye appointment. Otherwise, your eye doctor may recommend less frequent eye appointments.

Some vision tests don’t check for glaucoma. In order to determine whether you have this condition, your eye doctor will have to dilate your eyes. If you haven’t had your eyes dilated in a while, talk to your eye doctor.

Get Checked for Glaucoma Today

You can get checked for glaucoma today when you see the eye professionals at Lappen Eye Care. We offer vision testing, eye exams and glaucoma treatment in Pittsburgh, PA. Call today to make an appointment.

Treatment Options for Glaucoma

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with glaucoma, there are treatment options available that can help protect your vision. Depending on the type of glaucoma you’ve developed and how long you’ve had it, your optometrist in Pittsburgh, PA, will have solutions.

What Are My Treatment Options?

To stop vision loss caused by glaucoma, your eye doctor will try to lower the intraocular pressure of your eye. Usually, they’ll begin with the least invasive method and then take note of whether more treatment is needed. Treatment options for glaucoma in Pittsburgh may include:

  • Prescription eyedrops
  • Oral medications
  • Laser therapy
  • Eye surgery

Common Types of Glaucoma

Your treatment plan will hinge on the type of glaucoma with which you’ve been diagnosed: open-angle, angle-closure, or normal-tension . In the United States, 9 out of every 10 people with glaucoma have the open-angle version. This means too much pressure has built up in the eye and is causing damage, or is at risk of causing damage, to the optic nerve. This type of glaucoma may have very mild symptoms in the beginning, so mild that you don’t realize anything is wrong until it progresses and your vision becomes impaired.

If you develop angle-closure glaucoma, you’ll need emergency medical care, as this type can cause total vision loss in just a matter of days. Angle-closure glaucoma happens when a sudden build-up of fluid causes severe pressure. Symptoms include sudden, severe headache and intense eye pain.

Normal-tension glaucoma happens in patients who have normal eye pressure, and doctors are not sure why. However, heart problems and low blood pressure are linked to normal-tension glaucoma.

Help for Glaucoma in Pittsburgh, PA

For diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma in Pittsburgh, PA, contact Lappen Eye Care today. Regular eye exams that include glaucoma screenings are important, especially as you age or if you have a family history of glaucoma.

Diagnosed with Glaucoma: What Happens Next?

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with glaucoma, your first reaction may be fear. However, a diagnosis only means your optometrist in Pittsburgh, PA, can now begin treatment to prevent your vision from worsening. It’s far better to know you have glaucoma than it is to be unaware. The sooner you receive treatment, the easier your eye doctor can prevent adåditional vision loss. There are several options for treating glaucoma.

Medicated Eyedrops

In most instances, glaucoma is caused by too much pressure in the eye. Therefore, your eye specialist may prescribe medicated eyedrops that work in one of two ways: by preventing excess tear production or by improving the way fluid drains from your eyes. Both are beneficial in reducing pressure.

Oral Medications

Alongside your eyedrops, your vision specialist may prescribe an oral medication known as a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. This is a type of diuretic that limits the body’s production of aqueous humor, thus lowering intraocular pressure.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy may also be beneficial in relieving pressure in the eye. Your vision professional may use a laser to improve the way fluid drains from the area where your iris and cornea meet. This procedure can be done easily in your eye doctor’s office and will usually show full results within several weeks.


In some instances, surgery may be required to relieve intraocular pressure. During this procedure, an eye surgeon may place tubes to increase drainage. Or they may perform a MIGS procedure, which is an acronym for minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with glaucoma in Pittsburgh, PA, Lappen Eye Care can help with treatment. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Am I At Risk for Glaucoma?

Are you at risk for glaucoma? You might be and not even know it. Glaucoma is a condition that you might develop without ever realizing it, until permanent damage is done to your eyesight. If you’re at risk for glaucoma, it’s very important to see your eye doctor in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. Only your eye doctor can catch glaucoma in its earliest stages. Catching it early can help you avoid potential loss of eyesight.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Everyone can get glaucoma, but some people are at higher risk than others. Genetics is one risk factor. If members of your family have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you may be at higher risk as well.

Below are some more risk factors that can make you more likely to get glaucoma.

  • Age. People over age 60 are more likely to get glaucoma.
  • Eyesight. If you’re extremely near-sighted or far-sighted, you may be more likely to get glaucoma.
  • Medication. People who take corticosteroid medications (especially for a long time) are at increased risk to get glaucoma.
  • Health. Some conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease put patients at an increased risk of getting glaucoma.

For a full list of risk factors, speak with your eye doctor at Lappen Eye Care.

How to Know If You Have Glaucoma

Since the early stages of glaucoma may have no symptoms, the only way to tell if you have glaucoma may be to get an eye exam in Pittsburgh. At Lappen Eye Care, we provide eye exams for patients in the Pittsburgh area. During the eye exams, we’ll check your eyes for glaucoma and other chronic conditions that could dramatically impact your eye health. To make an appointment, call today.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that can sneak up on you, especially because there are sometimes no early symptoms of the disease. The best way to prevent glaucoma is to see your eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area, but there are other things you can do to protect yourself, as well.

Get Dilated Eye Exams

Dilation involves the dilating of the pupils, so the eye doctor can look inside the eye to see what’s happening inside. Dilation is an easy way for the eye doctor to check for conditions like glaucoma.

Not all eye exams involve dilation, so if you’re interested in getting a dilated eye exam, talk to your eye doctor.

Know the Risk Factors

Some people are more at risk to get glaucoma than others. Some risk factors to be aware of include:

  • Age – people over age 60 are more likely to get glaucoma
  • Family history – if people in your family have glaucoma, you are at higher risk as well
  • Medical conditions – if you have diabetes, then you are at higher risk to get diabetes


Exercising can help reduce your risk of glaucoma, as long as you continue to exercise three or more times per week. If you stop exercising, then the benefits wear off.

Wear Protective Eye Gear

Traumatic glaucoma is caused by eye injuries, so protecting your eyes when engaged in sports can help you prevent this problem. If you’re an athlete, wear protective eye wear when appropriate.

Concerned About Glaucoma? Get An Eye Exam Today

The key to fighting glaucoma is getting regular eye exams. If it’s been a long time since your last eye exam in the Pittsburgh area, then you may be due for one. Contact the professionals at Lappen Eye Care to get your eyes examined today.

Glaucoma Treatment in Pittsburgh and Greensburg, PA

Glaucoma is a condition that currently affects about 3 million Americans. This condition can have devastating effects, but presents few or no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. This means that most people don’t realize when they’re being impacted by glaucoma until some of their eyesight has already deteriorated.

Seeing the eye doctor in Pittsburgh and Greensburg PA, and educating yourself about glaucoma, can help you avoid a potentially terrible eye condition that can impact your vision and quality of life.

What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. This damage is caused by high pressure in the eye. When damage is done, glaucoma can lead to blindness. In fact, this condition is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over age 60.

Often, glaucoma has no warning signs. Many people don’t notice that there is something wrong until some vision has already been lost. Once some vision is lost, it cannot be recovered. Only early detection of glaucoma and targeted treatment can save vision.

Symptoms of Glaucoma
As already mentioned, early stages of glaucoma may have no signs or symptoms. By the time damage has occurred to the patient’s vision, the condition is already advanced. Some signs to watch for include:

Patchy blind spots in peripheral or central vision
Severe headache
Tunnel vision
Eye pain
Blurry vision
Nausea and vomiting
Eye redness
Halos around lights
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of glaucoma, see the eye doctor as soon as possible. Some types of glaucoma set on very quickly and are considered an eye emergency. Don’t delay seeing the eye doctor!

Causes of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition that occurs because of damage to the optic nerve. As the nerve deteriorates, so does vision. This nerve damage is usually attributed to increased pressure in the eye that comes from a buildup of fluid. Usually, this fluid drains out of the eyes.

However, when the drainage system in the eyes stops working properly, the fluid may stop draining as it should. Glaucoma is often genetic, which means that it can be passed down from one family member to another.

Who Is At Risk?
Below are the risk factors for glaucoma:

Age. People over age 60 are more likely to develop glaucoma.
Race. Black, Asian and Hispanic people are more likely to be affected by glaucoma.
Genetics. If you have relatives with glaucoma, you’re more likely to get it yourself.
Medical conditions. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and sickle cell anemia, can all put you at higher risk for glaucoma.
Medications. Taking corticosteroid medications, especially eye drops, can put you at increased risk for glaucoma.
Existing eye conditions. If you’re very nearsighted or very far-sighted, you’re at increased risk to get glaucoma.
Glaucoma Care
The best way to prevent blindness from glaucoma is to catch it in its early stages. Here’s what you can do to prevent blindness from advanced stage glaucoma.

See the eye doctor regularly. Your eye doctor can detect early stage glaucoma by dilating your eyes and performing an eye examination in Pittsburgh or Greensburg PA. Even if you’ve never had eyeglasses and have no corrective lenses, it’s still a good idea to see your eye doctor to get regular check-ups for glaucoma.
Know when you’re at risk. If you have a condition that puts you at risk, or if you have a family history of glaucoma, tell your eye doctor. If you’re at risk for glaucoma, it’s especially important to see your eye doctor regularly.
Glaucoma Treatment
There are many types of treatment that can help when you’re diagnosed with glaucoma. Your eye care doctor will help you determine which treatment is best for your condition based on symptoms, how advanced the condition is, and so on.

Prescription eye drops can help relieve the pressure in the eye. Your eye doctor may prescribe more than one eye drop, depending on your needs. Your eye doctor will give you instructions to ensure that the eyedrop medication is absorbed properly and is applied in a way that is most effective. Follow your eye doctor’s instructions and take your eye drop medication regularly to prevent further deterioration of your eyesight.

Oral Medications
Oral medications can also be used to reduce eye pressure, if the eyedrops don’t do the job effectively. Your eye doctor will help you determine when oral medications are called for.

If medications and eyedrops don’t improve drainage in your eyes enough, your eye doctor may recommend surgery. These surgeries include laser therapy, filtering surgery, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, and insertion of drainage tubes.

Following any surgical procedure, your eye doctor will continue to measure the eye pressure in your eyes to determine whether you need follow-up procedures.

Sometimes eye surgery only works for a while until pressure begins to build back up in the eye. When this happens, your eye doctor may recommend a new kind of surgery or new concoction of therapies to keep eye pressure down.

Glaucoma Prevention
Living a healthy lifestyle can also help you avoid a glaucoma diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, the following tips can help you maintain good health, which may work in conjunction with medications to control the spread of glaucoma.

Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise can reduce your risk of developing glaucoma. Engage in safe exercise. Your physician can help you determine what exercise is “safe” and what is not.
Eat a healthy diet. Eating right can help you maintain healthy eyes. Vitamins that are good for your eyes include selenium, zinc, vitamin C, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin A.
Limit caffeine intake. High doses of caffeine can cause higher eye pressure. Limit your caffeine intake to a moderate amount to protect your eyes from high pressure inside.
Sleep with your head elevated. Sleeping with your head elevated can help reduce pressure in the eyes while you sleep.
Even if you’re living a healthy lifestyle, you must still see the eye doctor in Pittsburgh and Greensburg PA to catch and treat glaucoma. Failure to see the eye doctor or work with the eye doctor or a qualified medical professional may lead to blindness.

Make An Appointment to See Your Eye Doctor Today
Glaucoma is a serious condition that can dramatically impact quality of life. Even working with an eye doctor, some people still lose blindness in one or both eyes. The key to protecting your vision is seeing the eye doctor early and often, especially once you reach 60 years and older.

Talk to your eye doctor about glaucoma checkups and glaucoma treatments in Pittsburgh and Greensburg PA. At Lappen Eye Care, we provide glaucoma prevention and interventional glaucoma treatment to patients in the surrounding area. Call today to make an appointment and get your eyes checked.