Estimates suggest that more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma, though only half are aware they have the condition. Left unchecked, glaucoma can lead to vision loss, which is why an eye exam at Ideal Family Eye Care, LTD Sylwia Szewczyk, OD & Associates is so important. Both Sylwia Szewczyk, OD, and Małgorzata Zolnierzow OD, routinely check for glaucoma among their Chicago area patients, allowing them to stay one step ahead of their eye health. To schedule an eye exam and glaucoma test, use the online scheduler or call the Jefferson Park office for an appointment.

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Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage your optic nerve, sometimes leading to irreversible vision loss. In fact, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. There are several types of glaucoma, but the following two represent the majority of cases:

Open-angle glaucoma

This is the most common form of the disease, wherein the trabecular meshwork that lies inside the drainage angle between your cornea and iris is partially blocked. If your eye can’t drain properly, it leads to intraocular pressure that can build up and damage your optic nerve.

Angle-closure glaucoma

When the drainage angle between your iris and cornea becomes blocked, this can lead to a painful form of glaucoma, especially if the closure is acute.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

One of the most difficult aspects of glaucoma is that, all too often, the disease goes undetected until it starts to cause irreversible damage to your optic nerve. With open-angle glaucoma, the process is gradual and there are no symptoms at first. In its more advanced stages, you may see patchy spots or a tunneling in your vision.

Conversely, with acute angle-closure glaucoma, the symptoms are severe and include:

  • Headache
  • Eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and vomiting

If these symptoms arise, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately.

How is glaucoma diagnosed and treated?

As part of their regular eye exams, the doctors at Ideal Family Eye Care routinely perform a tonometry test to measure your intraocular pressure. This simple and painless test gives your doctor ample time to take steps to slow the progression of your glaucoma to avoid vision loss.

As well, your doctor performs other simple tests that may help in determining whether glaucoma is present, and to what extent, including a:

  • Visual acuity test
  • Visual field test
  • Dilated eye exam
  • Pachymetry to determine corneal thickness

If they diagnose glaucoma, they may give you eye drops or medications to lower your intraocular pressure or recommend a surgical option to promote better drainage.

While there’s no cure for glaucoma, your doctor works with you to preserve your vision for years to come. Call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment at Ideal Family Eye Care today for expert glaucoma care.