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The word "glaucoma" has always carried an ominous air about it, and rightly so. This disease erodes eyesight by doing progressive damage to the optic nerves. Half of the estimated 3 million Americans suffering from this condition don't even realize it, which means that they aren't getting the treatment they need to prevent blindness. Luckily for you and your loved ones, Lock Family Eye Care can check your eyes for glaucoma and administer sight-saving glaucoma treatment in West Des Moines.
Glaucoma may occur following an eye injury, in association with an underlying health problem or even congenitally. Most of the time, however, the main trigger is ocular hypertension or abnormally high fluid pressure. The eye keeps itself filled with a fluid called the aqueous humor; it produces this fluid at a constant rate, expelling excess fluid through a drainage mesh in the iris, where it then exits the eye through the angle between the iris and the conjunctiva.
If the drainage system is ineffective, the pressure on the optic nerves can cause irreversible damage. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common variety, does this damage slowly, often without displaying any early symptoms. But some people are prone to angle-closure glaucoma, in which the drainage is abruptly shut off. This emergency condition can cause nausea, vomiting, eye pain, headaches and rapid vision loss.
Since most cases of glaucoma sneak up on sufferers, the only way you can know for sure whether you're developing the condition is by scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams. Either West Des Moines optometrist on our team can use tonometry and other techniques to diagnose early-stage glaucoma before you've even lost any vision to it. This enables us to get the best results from conservative treatments.
Medicated eye drops, sometimes accompanied by oral medicines, can regulate your eye pressure by reducing the amount of fluid produced and/or encouraging more efficient drainage. In some cases, quick, painless laser surgery to enhance drainage may be advisable. Your West Des Moines optometrist will be happy to co-manage your surgical treatment and recovery.
Don't allow glaucoma to do serious damage to your eyes for years without you even knowing it. If you're due for a comprehensive eye exam from a West Des Moines or Waukee eye doctor, call 515-267-1312 today. We can provide whatever assistance your eyes need, as soon as they need it, to help ensure optimal eyesight for life!
101 Jordan Creek Pkwy # 12190 West Des Moines, IA 50266
*M-F, we take the last appointment at 5:40pm