Glaucoma is a common eye disease that can gradually steal your vision. The term glaucoma refers to a collection of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. This damage can lead to permanent vision loss or even total blindness. Glaucoma is considered a major cause of blindness in the general population.
A major concern is that glaucoma often presents no early symptoms but continues to cause gradual, un-reversable damage. In most cases, glaucoma is diagnosed in people who are older than 40 but can still develop at an earlier age. An estimated 3.54% of adults between 40 and 80 years have been diagnosed with some type of glaucoma.
Causes Of Glaucoma
In most types of glaucoma, the eye’s drainage system becomes clogged so the intraocular fluid cannot drain. As the fluid builds up, it causes pressure to build inside the eye. High pressure damages the sensitive optic nerve and results in vision loss.
People are more likely to develop glaucoma if they:
- Are over the age of 40
- Have a family history of glaucoma
- Have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or sickle cell anemia
- Are of African American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent
- Take certain steroid medications such as prednisone
- Have had an injury to your eye or eyes
- Have high eye pressure (ocular hypertension)
Current Treatments Available
Unfortunately, there is not currently a cure for glaucoma. However, there are several therapies that can help reduce eye pressure and the rate of damage to the optic nerve. Current approved treatment options for glaucoma include eyedrops, oral medications, laser surgery, or microsurgery.
Clinical Research Advancements
New clinical trials for glaucoma are focused on more innovative ways to treat the disease. Researchers are studying everything from electric current stimulation to slow release eye implants to help find relief for patients with glaucoma.
You can help advance medical research by participating in a clinical trial! Contact any of our offices to see what clinical trials are enrolling today.