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Glaucoma Information from Biddeford, Maine

Glaucoma is a disease affecting the optic nerve, the part of your eye which carries images from the eye to your brain. A clear fluid constantly flows within the eye for nourishment and proper pressure within the eye. In glaucoma, this liquid drains back into the bloodstream too slowly, increasing the pressure inside the eye. If that increasing pressure is not controlled, it may damage the optic nerve. As the disease progresses, the side vision declines until eventually blindness results.
Glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages. The increased pressure doesn't cause any pain, and there is no noticeable change in central vision. A person with glaucoma might not know anything is wrong until his or her side vision fails. By then, damage to the optic nerve is irreversible; sight lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. This lack of symptoms has earned glaucoma the name "the sneak thief of sight."
Eye Care in Biddeford, ME - Dr. Robert Wescot

Detection & Prevention

The best defense against vision loss due to glaucoma is early detection. Proper medical treatment can prevent or slow down damage to your sight. Your ophthalmologist can check your eyes for signs of glaucoma by performing a series of painless tests.
He or she will measure the fluid pressure inside your eye and examine the back of your eye for signs of optic nerve damage. If you have glaucoma, it is possible to have lost side vision and not be aware of it. That is why a thorough eye exam is so important to diagnose this disease.
While glaucoma is not curable, it can be controlled. The most common treatment is with medication, usually in the form of eyedrops or pills. Some people with glaucoma might need laser or conventional surgery.
Eye Care in Biddeford, ME - Dr. Robert Wescot
One rare type of glaucoma does have symptoms. If you have sudden blurred vision, eye pain, rainbow haloes around lights, headache with nausea or vomiting, see an ophthalmologist immediately. Those are signs of angle-closure glaucoma and it needs to be treated right away to prevent rapid vision loss from very high intraocular pressure. As with many eye diseases, what you don't know about glaucoma could hurt you. So get regular medical eye exams. Don't let the thief of sight sneak up on you.