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Glaucoma Management in Sheridan and Gillette

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease damaging the optic nerve and is usually caused by a buildup of fluid in the front part of the eye, which results in an increase in pressure, which damages the nerve. It is the leading cause of blindness for people over 60. However, early detection can limit the damage of the disease, and prevent blindness.

a diagram of glaucoma in the eye in Sheridan and Gillette

Common Types of Glaucoma

The two most common types of glaucoma optometrists in Sheridan and Gillette WY see are primary open angle glaucoma and angle closure glaucoma.

  • Primary Open Angle Glaucoma. The most common type of glaucoma is primary open angle glaucoma. The inability of the eye to drain fluid happens gradually, and many people don't notice the extra pressure until much of the damage is already done. 
  • Angle Closure Glaucoma. Angle closure glaucoma is another fairly common type of the disease. It happens when the eye's iris is very close to the eye's drainage angle and there is a risk of it blocking the "drain". In some cases, this can happen gradually and produce little or no symptoms or it can lead to an acute attack. Signs of an acute attack are below.

Common Symptoms of Glaucoma

One of the reasons why regular eye exams are important is because optometrists in Sheridan and Gillette can often catch early signs of the disease before symptoms become obvious. Once the damage is done, it can't be reversed so it is important to start treatment as soon as possible once a diagnosis is confirmed. Common symptoms of the glaucoma condition are:

  • Severe pain in the eye
  • Headache
  • Nauseated
  • Suddenly blurred vision
  • Seeing halos or rainbow colored rings around lights

Why is Visiting Eye Doctors in Sheridan and Gillette Important?

In both types of glaucoma, a good deal of damage can happen to the optic nerve before any symptoms develop. When symptoms do develop they begin as the appearance of blind spots in your side vision. Tests conducted at Wyovision during regular eye exams can often find early stage glaucoma so that glaucoma treatment in Sheridan and Gillette can begin. If glaucoma is noticed by our eye doctors in Sheridan and Gillette it is important to move quickly to seek glaucoma relief in Sheridan and Gillette.

Glaucoma Treatments in Sheridan and Gillette

At Wyovision once we find glaucoma we can help you decide on various treatment options. Unfortunately, actual nerve damage is irreversible, but there are options that will limit any further progression including medication, and laser and operating room surgery. Medications are usually eye drops that reduce eye pressure. Medications may produce side effects such as:

  • Dry mouth 
  • Stinging or itching
  • Changes in pulse or heartbeat
  • Dry mouth blurred vision
  • Changes in eye color
  • Changes in energy and/or breathing

Laser Surgery

The two types of laser surgery performed for glaucoma are trabeculoplasty and iridotomy

  • Trabeculoplasty - for open angle glaucoma, a laser is used to alter the drainage angle to reduce pressure
  • Iridotomy - for those with angle closure glaucoma, and involves a tiny hole being made with a laser into the iris to allow better access for fluid to enter the drainage angle.

Surgery in the Operating Room

  • Trabeculectomy - A flap is created in the white of your eye in order to allow proper drainage
  • Glaucoma Drainage Devices - A tiny drainage tube is implanted in the eye.

Treat Your Glaucoma with Our Optometrists at Wyovision

Whether detecting or treating glaucoma, at Wyovision our compassionate eye doctors in Sheridan and Gillette can help you decide what treatment is best for you. To schedule an appointment contact our Sheridan office at (307) 673-5177 or Wyovision Gillette at (307) 682-2747.