Questions about Glaucoma

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of vision. In glaucoma there is damage over time to the optic nerve in the back of the eye. Each part of the optic nerve is responsible for a piece of your vision (visual field). If not treated people with glaucoma first lose their peripheral vision and then can go blind.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Unfortunately there are none until lots of vision is lost. At that point people may notice that their peripheral vision is bad, or just that their vision is not good in general.

Is vision loss from glaucoma reversible?

Unfortunately no. Once part of your vision is lost to glaucoma it can’t be recovered. That is why we try our best to detect it before you notice any symptoms.

Doesn’t glaucoma cause pain?

Usually not. It can in certain forms, but the most common form of glaucoma does not cause any pain.

How do I know if I have glaucoma?

A full exam by an ophthalmologist to look at your optic nerve and examine your intraocular pressure (IOP) is the first step. Further tests such as a visual field test or optic nerve analyzer may be done if necessary.

What causes glaucoma?

In most cases we really don’t know. It does tend in some cases to run in families but not always. Certain forms are caused by injuries, after other eye surgeries or with certain medications.

Why does my doctor need to do a visual field test?

The visual field test helps your doctor determine if there are any changes in your peripheral vision that would make them believe that you have glaucoma, or that your glaucoma is getting worse.

How is glaucoma treated?

Usually it is treated by lowering your intraocular pressure (IOP). In many cases this can be done with eye drops. At times it may require laser surgery in the office or even surgery in the operating room.

How much does glaucoma treatment cost?

We will work with you to obtain the most cost effective eye drops we can and we will bill your medical insurance for all of your exams and testing as well as any surgery you may need.