Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, affecting more than three million people in the United States. At his optometry office in the Coolidge Corner neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts, Paddy Kalish, OD, offers preventive glaucoma screenings and customized treatment plans to reduce your risk for complications like vision loss and blindness. Learn more about the benefits of preventive glaucoma screenings by calling the office of Paddy Kalish, OD, or by booking a consultation online today.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages your optic nerve, the nerve at the back of your eye that sends light signals to your brain to help you see.
Damage to the optic nerve occurs when pressure builds up in the front part of your eye. There are two types of glaucoma — primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma — that describe the cause of fluid build-up in your eyes.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of the condition. This describes the gradual build-up of fluids in the eye over time because your eye isn’t draining excess fluids like it should.
Poor drainage might be caused by blockages in your eye. In the early stages of open-angle glaucoma, you won’t experience pain or vision changes. However, as the condition remains untreated, it can lead to optic nerve damage, vision loss, and blindness.
Angle-closure glaucoma is a condition where your iris sits too close to the drainage angle in your eye and blocks the drainage angle of the fluids.
If your iris completely blocks drainage, pressure in your eye can build up quickly and lead to an acute attack, a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Without medical care, you can go permanently blind.
Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma include severe eye pain, reduced vision, and headaches.
Because you might not have symptoms of glaucoma until the condition is in the advanced stages, it’s important that you have a routine eye exam. These exams allow Dr. Kalish to identify changes in your vision or eye health that might indicate you have glaucoma.
During your exam, Dr. Kalish can measure your eye pressure and inspect the drainage angle of your eyes. He also examines your optic nerve for early warning signs of damage.
If you have increased pressure in your eye, Dr. Kalish can customize a treatment plan to prevent eye damage and blindness. When not properly treated, glaucoma can cause permanent, irreversible eye damage.
To help reduce the pressure in your eyes, Dr. Kalish might prescribe eye drops. Medicated drops reduce how much aqueous fluid your eye makes and can help fluids flow through the drainage angle more efficiently.
Because glaucoma treatments can cause side effects like dry eyes, blurred vision, and eye irritation, Dr. Kalish can provide additional treatments to increase your eye comfort.
If medications aren’t enough to relieve pressure on your optic nerve, you might need laser surgery to improve drainage in your eyes.
When appropriate, treatments may be co-managed with a Glaucoma Specialist, an MD or DO.
If you have symptoms of glaucoma and need an eye exam, call the office of Paddy Kalish, OD, or book a consultation online today.