Blog Hero

Will I Go Blind From Glaucoma?

Contact Us
A senior woman at her optometrist's getting an eye exam to look for signs of glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious progressive eye condition and one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. But a glaucoma diagnosis doesn’t have to lead to vision loss. With the proper treatment and care, this condition can be manageable.

Our practice at Vector Eye Centre prides itself in providing the highest standards of care for patients with glaucoma. With state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosis and treatment, our clinic will help you deal with this difficult but manageable condition. Let us help you manage this visual problem by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam today. 

Understanding Glaucoma 

Glaucoma is a group of chronic eye conditions that affects the optic nerve. Specifically, glaucoma is usually related to an increase in your eye’s fluid pressure. This increase in pressure can cause your optic nerve to slowly degenerate, leading to partial vision loss. If left untreated, it may lead to blindness. 

But glaucoma is a manageable condition under the right circumstances. Glaucoma is usually less damaging if spotted early. This is especially true if you have a family history of glaucoma, are older than 40, or have myopia. That’s why annual comprehensive eye exams are so crucial as you age.

Not all glaucoma types are created equal, though. Some subtypes are rarer and more dangerous, while others occur silently and sight loss is not obvious until permanent. There are 2 types of glaucoma that are most prominent.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

This is the most common type of glaucoma, accounting for 90% of all glaucoma cases in Canada. Open-angle glaucoma takes place when the fluid drainage mechanism of your eyes becomes inefficient or if your eyes are producing too much fluid. 

An abundance of fluid causes pressure to build up inside your eye globes, generating unwanted and dangerous pressure inside them. This pressure damages your optic nerves, slowly taking away your eyesight, starting with your peripheral vision. Although inconspicuous, it is unfortunately permanent. 

Closed-Angle Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma is rarer but very dangerous. Closed-angle glaucoma can lead to sudden vision loss. Essentially, it happens when the drainage angle in your eye, formed by the iris and the cornea, gets blocked or clogged. This leads to a rapid increase in intraocular pressure. This acute increase in pressure can result in vision loss within a day. Closed-angle glaucoma is a medical emergency. It can be characterized by:  

  • Sudden loss of vision or blurriness
  • Severe eye pain or headaches
  • Eye redness & tenderness
  • Feeling nauseous & vomiting
  • Bright halos in your vision

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may be suffering from acute angle-closure glaucoma. Please contact your optometrist or emergency services immediately. 

An illustration of what a normal eye looks like versus an eye that has glaucoma

Diagnosis & Treatment

At Vector Eye Centre, we offer cutting-edge technology for both diagnosing and treating glaucoma. There are very few warning signs of open-angle glaucoma (the most common type) until it’s too late. When the disease becomes apparent, the damage is often irreversible. 

This is why frequent comprehensive eye exams are so important. Early diagnosis is key, and while glaucoma is not curable, it’s very much treatable. 

Glaucoma can be treated in several different ways. From eye drops and medicine to laser surgery. At our practice, we take great pride in providing quality and high technologic treatment, especially in surgery methods.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

This laser surgery is used to treat different types of open-angle glaucoma. It consists of applying a laser to the fluid drainage system in your eye. This leads to lowering your intraocular pressure, alleviating the effects of open-angle glaucoma.

YAG Peripheral Iridotomy

This laser procedure is employed to treat closed-angle glaucoma, a dangerous form of the disease. This surgery involves making a small hole in the iris. This small orifice expels the fluid that builds up in the patient’s eye, lowering intraocular pressure.

Living With Glaucoma

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, don’t panic. It’s a chronic disease, but a manageable one. You may need to adapt your lifestyle if some lasting damage has occurred. But glaucoma patients can often live a perfectly normal life. 

Our doctors at Vector Eye Centre can help and guide you through the process of vision loss prevention.

But glaucoma is always best treated if diagnosed early. With an early diagnosis, we can start your treatment right away, before any damage is done to your optic nerve. So the best course of action is to have regular eye exams, as this is the only way to diagnose glaucoma at its earliest stages.

Don’t Let Glaucoma Take Your Precious Sight Away

Glaucoma is a serious but common condition. With proper diagnosis and treatment, it’s possible to protect your eyes from the dangers of glaucoma. But it’s paramount that you stay on top of your ocular health. Visiting your eye doctor for regular annual eye examinations can be the difference between permanent vision loss and normal sight. 

Vector Eye Centre offers a variety of treatments and options for all types of glaucoma. Our team of doctors is always ready for your particular needs. Contact us and book an appointment today, Don’t let glaucoma creep up on your vision.

Written by Dr. Jamie Bhamra

Dr. Jamie Bhamra is an ophthalmologist with advanced training in cataract and corneal surgery, including refractive surgery, corneal cross-linking, external disease, ocular surface disease, and dry eye disease. He practices comprehensive ophthalmology in Calgary, Alberta.
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star-half star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax