Importance of Eye Exams

Regular eye exams are vital to your eye health and vision. Without regular checkups, you may not know that you have glaucoma until you start losing vision.

alf of the 3 million Americans with glaucoma don’t know they have it. “I was one of them,” says Stephanie.

Loss of side vision in her left eye was the first sign of a problem. An eye exam showed she had advanced glaucoma—a leading cause of blindness in America. “I was happily living life for the last ten years without a clue I had this disease.”

Glaucoma is known as “the silent thief of sight” because its destructive impact can happen slowly and without early symptoms. Unfortunately, the damage is irreparable.

Don’t let it steal your vision



A Silent Thief

Increased pressure damages the sensitive optic nerve fibers at the back of the eye.

Drainage canal

Drainage canal




Optic nerve

How Glaucoma Works

In most cases of this disease, the normal flow and drainage of fluid within the eye is disrupted. As this flow is blocked, pressure builds inside the eye and presses on tiny vessels of the optic nerve that transmits visual signals to the brain. Left untreated, the sensitive optic nerve becomes permanently damaged, resulting in partial or total vision loss.

Regular Eye Exams Help Save Vision

Without diagnosis and treatment, the first thing you’ll notice if you have advanced glaucoma may be loss of side vision. Instead of seeing things out of the corner of your eye, your vision will become more tunnel-like. Over time, central vision may also fade into blindness.

That’s why regular visits to your eye doctor are essential. Tests can find early glaucoma, and treatment can help prevent or slow the loss of vision.


Who’s Most at Risk?

Anybody can have glaucoma, but the risk goes up if you:

  • Have high fluid pressure in your eyes
  • Are older than 60
  • Are black or Hispanic
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Have diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Are very nearsighted
  • Have had an eye injury or eye surgery
  • Take steroid medicine


Treatment  Options

Glaucoma can’t be cured, but it can be treated. The goal is to lower fluid pressure within the eye. Your eye doctor may suggest:

  • MEDICATION — This can be eye drops or the injection of a slow-release capsule. If drops are prescribed, be sure to use them as directed. If you stop, pressure in your eye can go up again, causing more damage. Tell your eye doctor if you have side effects, such as headaches, stinging, burning, and redness—or if you feel ill in any way. You might need a different medicine. If a small capsule is injected into the eye, it will slowly release continuous amounts of medication over several months.
  • LASER SURGERY — There are two main options for laser treatment, depending on what type and level of glaucoma you have. Both are safe and low-risk office procedures that usually take less than ten minutes. While most patients do not feel anything, some experience a prickly sensation.
  • CATARACT SURGERY WITH MICRO-BYPASS STENTS — At the time of cataract surgery, tiny stents or tubes made of plastic or metal can be inserted through the eye’s natural drainage system. This improves fluid flow and lowers eye pressure.
  • CANAL PROCEDURES AND TUBES — There are procedures that expand the eye’s drainage canal and others that place small tubes to reroute the flow of fluid within the eye. These are done through tiny micro-incisions.
  •  TRADITIONAL GLAUCOMA SURGERY — If pressure within the eye is not lowered enough by the above techniques, a surgeon can use incisions to make a new drainage canal with or without a larger tube shunt to redirect the fluid. These alternate passageways increase fluid flow.


Emergency Symptoms

See your eye doctor right away if you have the symptoms below. If the office is closed, go to a hospital or clinic. Without prompt treatment, high fluid pressure in your eye could lead to blindness.

  • Severe eye pain
  • Head or brow ache
  • Eye redness
  • Seeing halos or colored rings around light
  • Blurred vision


World Class Care

We specialize in cataract surgery and LASIK laser vision correction. When you entrust us with the care of your vision, our team of experts concentrates their skills on giving you the best possible outcome. Having performed over 700,000 micro eye surgeries, we have earned a reputation for world class care.
























To reach our office nearest you, call 800-224-7254. In Alaska call 800-557-7254.

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Drainage canal

Drainage canal




Optic nerve

Normal vision

Advanced glaucoma

WATCH THIS VIDEO to learn more about glaucoma.