Glaucoma is a disease that damages your optic nerve and can lead to blindness, but early detection and treatment can delay its progression and protect your vision. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Gerald J. Mullan is experienced in controlling glaucoma so that men and women with the disease can retain their sight. To get tested or treated for glaucoma at the practice offices in Rochester Hills or Hazel Park, Michigan, call or use the online booking tool.
Glaucoma is a disease that progressively damages the optic nerve and usually affects both eyes. Your optic nerves are located in the back of your eyes and connect your eyes to your brain. By sending visual information to your brain, your optic nerves allow you to see images.
The cause of glaucoma is increased pressure on the optic nerve. Your eyes constantly make a fluid called aqueous humor, and when your eyes are healthy, the fluid flows in and out of the eye freely. When the fluid can’t drain properly, it builds up in the front part of your eye, which can damage your optic nerve over time.
One of the more frightening aspects of glaucoma is that the effects are very gradual, and there aren’t early warning signs. Glaucoma usually doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s progressed and already caused permanent vision damage. The first noticeable sign of glaucoma is usually a loss of peripheral (side) vision, and if left untreated, it can cause full blindness in one or both eyes.
There’s no way to reverse vision loss from glaucoma, and the best defense against it is to get regular comprehensive eye exams, including a glaucoma screening.
Eye exams also give you an opportunity to learn your risk factors. You’re more likely to develop glaucoma if you:
You should get screened for glaucoma every four years — beginning at age 40 — if you have no risk factors. If you’re at high risk or over age 65, you should get screened for glaucoma every two years.
Treatment for glaucoma involves reducing the pressure on your affected eye or eyes to preserve your vision. Dr. Mullan may provide:
Though there’s no cure for glaucoma, the disease is controllable with early detection. To get screened for glaucoma or learn about your treatment options, call or use the online booking tool.