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.

Surgery

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.

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

Exercise

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.

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.

Temporary Causes of Blindness and Blind Spots

When most people think of visiting an emergency eye doctor in Pittsburgh, PA, they think of things like traumatic wounds to the eye. However, a vision health emergency can actually be less obvious. This is the case when it comes to sudden changes in visual capabilities. From blind spots to temporary instances of blindness, any major vision changes should be treated as an emergency. Take a look at a few causes of temporary blindness and blind spots.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches have the ability to cause changes in your vision. Many migraine sufferers report having light sensitivity, but some people can also experience temporary changes in visual capabilities. An ocular migraine, which affects the retina, can cause short-term vision loss.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of temporary blindness. A spike in blood pressure affects the blood vessels that feed oxygenated blood to the retina and other parts of the eye. If this blood supply is disrupted, you may see spots in your vision or even temporary blindness in the most severe cases.

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

When fluid in the eye is not capable of flowing as it should, it causes a buildup of pressure. This condition is what is medically referred to as acute angle-closure glaucoma. If the pressure within the eye is not treated immediately, you could be facing permanent vision loss. Signs of acute angle-closure glaucoma include blurred vision, halos around lights, and eye pain.

Talk to a Pittsburgh, PA Eye Doctor About Vision Concerns

Any major changes in your vision are a sign that something is wrong, and a Pittsburgh, PA eye doctor needs to take a look. Have you experienced blind spots or changes in your vision? Reach out to Lappen Eye Care to schedule an appointment.

What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can cause permanent blindness. The only way to protect your vision from glaucoma is to seek treatment from an eye doctor in the Pittsburgh area.

Seeing an eye doctor and getting treatment as early as possible can help save your vision. Knowing the symptoms of the signs of glaucoma is important, so you’ll know how to protect yourself from this serious problem.

Early Stages

Unfortunately, in the earliest stages of glaucoma, many people have no symptoms at all. During the early stages, the damage may be occurring slowly and without patient awareness.

Depending on the type of glaucoma affecting the patient, they may also experience one or more of the following:

  • Severe pain in the eyes
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Foggy vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Halos around lights

Some types of glaucoma can seem to come on very suddenly, with permanent damage to the vision following shortly after. If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately or go to the emergency room.

Later Stages

If glaucoma is left untreated, it can lead to permanent vision loss. Vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible.

Why It’s Important to See the Eye Doctor

While glaucoma can’t be cured, it can be treated, and in many cases, vision loss can be avoided. This is why it’s important to see an eye doctor on a regular basis, and get checked for glaucoma periodically. If your eye doctor detects glaucoma, it’s important to get glaucoma treatment in the Pittsburgh area. Getting glaucoma treatment can help you manage this condition and avoid blindness and other permanent damage. Call Lappen Eye Care today to make an appointment for an examination today.

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.

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.