glaucoma questions

Understanding Glaucoma: Answers to 5 Frequently Asked Questions

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. However, many people do have questions about what it is, how it’s diagnosed, and more. In order to help you understand this condition better, here are answers to five of the most common questions about glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, typically due to high pressure in the eye. This pressure can build up when the fluid inside the eye, called aqueous humor, doesn’t drain properly. Over time, the damage to the optic nerve can lead to vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness.

What causes glaucoma?

The exact cause isn’t always clear, but it often involves a combination of factors such as increased pressure in the eye, poor blood flow to the optic nerve, and genetics. Certain risk factors, such as age, family history, and certain medical conditions can also increase your likelihood of developing the disease. As a rule, those at higher risk include people of African descent, people with diabetes, and people with a family history of glaucoma.

What are the symptoms to watch for?

In the early stages, glaucoma typically has no noticeable symptoms, which is why regular eye exams are crucial for early detection. As the condition progresses, you may experience peripheral vision loss, tunnel vision, eye pain, headache, blurred vision, or halos around lights. If you notice any changes in your vision or experience eye discomfort, it’s essential to schedule a visit to see us promptly.

How is this condition diagnosed?

Glaucoma is diagnosed through a comprehensive vision examination that includes several tests. These tests may include measuring intraocular pressure (tonometry), assessing the appearance of the optic nerve (ophthalmoscopy), checking the peripheral vision (visual field test), and measuring the thickness of the cornea (pachymetry). We use these tests to evaluate the health of your eyes and determine if you have glaucoma.

In general, a check for glaucoma should be done:

  • before age 40, every two to four years
  • from age 40 to age 54, every one to three years
  • from age 55 to 64, every one to two years
  • after age 65, every six to 12 months

Anyone with high risk factors should be tested every year or two after age 35.

What treatment options are available?

While there’s no cure for glaucoma, treatment aims to slow down the progression of the disease and prevent further vision loss. Treatment options may include prescription eye drops to lower intraocular pressure, oral medications, laser therapy (such as trabeculoplasty or iridotomy), or surgery (such as trabeculectomy or shunt implantation). The choice of treatment depends on various factors, including the type and severity of glaucoma and your overall health.

Glaucoma Care at Family Vision Development Center

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that requires timely diagnosis and appropriate management to prevent vision loss. By understanding what glaucoma is, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options, you can take proactive steps to protect your vision. Remember to schedule regular eye exams with us, especially if you have risk factors for glaucoma or notice any changes in your vision. As previously mentioned, early detection and treatment are key to preserving your eyesight and maintaining your quality of life. For this reason, vision exams are essential so we can monitor your vision on a regular basis and quickly determine the cause of any changes.

If glaucoma is detected, we will work closely with you to determine the best course of treatment. Additionally, we will answer any questions so you understand what your options are and will provide ongoing support to help ensure the highest quality of life while living with this condition. Contact our office at 630-862-2020 to make an appointment for your vision exam today!


Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, sports vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.  We are dedicated to keeping our patients comfortable and well-informed and we will explain every exam and procedure and answer all of your questions.  We accept both scheduled and emergency appointments, and offer convenient financing and insurance options to ensure that high-quality vision care is available and affordable to all of our patients.