A Closer Look at Glaucoma
Nikhil Wagle, MD
In the U.S., more than 2 million individuals are estimated to be living with glaucoma, and that number is expected to increase by 50%, to more than 3 million, by 2020.
Because glaucoma is a painless disease in most cases, patients are frequently unaware that they have a problem, until significant visual loss has already occurred. It has been estimated that fully half of all those with glaucoma are unaware of their diagnosis. Unfortunately, visual loss caused by glaucoma is irreversible. Regular dilated eye examinations are required for early detection of glaucoma. When detected early, treatment can generally control glaucoma and prevent loss of vision.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease typically characterized by elevated pressure in the eye that causes damage to the optic nerve and defects in the field of vision. The increase in eye pressure is caused by a reduction in the ability of fluid to drain from the eye. The cause of this blockage is unknown. However, as eye pressure increases, nerve cells which carry the information we require to see are damaged and gradually begin to die. As these nerve fibers or cells die, loss of vision begins. Usually, peripheral vision or “side” vision is lost first. This often goes unnoticed. Ultimately, central or reading vision is affected.
Learn more about glaucoma: http://www.eyesurgeonspc.com/bettendorf/glaucoma.htm
Nikhil Wagle, M.D., with Eye Surgeons Associates, is board certified with a fellowship in Glaucoma. He sees patients in our Silvis, Rock Island, Muscatine and Bettendorf offices.
The material contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.