Our Location & Hours

Our Location & Hours

Optometrist, San Ramon, Optometric Center & Eyewear Galleria

2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
Suite #101
San Ramon, CA 94583 View Map

 
Monday--Thursday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

* Exams 9am-5:15pm Mon-Thurs; 10am-4pm Fri

What is Glaucoma?

 
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and can result in loss of peripheral (side) vision and blindness.  However, with early detection and treatment, you can protect your eyes against severe vision loss.
 

What is Open-Angle Glaucoma and how does the optic nerve get damaged?

 
Studies show that high pressure in the eye can cause damage to the optic nerve.  The front of the eye is called the anterior chamber.  The anterior chamber is where the fluid that nourishes the eye flows into and out of the eye.  The fluid is produced behind the iris and flows between the iris and lens to exit through an opening/drainage called the trabecular meshwork.  In open-angle glaucoma, this drainage is “open”, but the fluid passes slowly through the openings in the meshwork causing build up and the pressure to increase.  This increase in pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve leading to vision loss.  
 
People at higher risk of developing glaucoma:
 
African Americans over age 40
Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
People with family history of glaucoma
 

Can I develop glaucoma if I have increased eye pressure?

 

Not necessarily.  Not every person with increased eye pressure will develop glaucoma.  The thickness of your eye can be protective of glaucoma and certain people can tolerate higher pressures than others.  It is important to have a comprehensive visual evaluation including checking the pressure of the eyes and evaluating your optic nerves.
 

Can I develop glaucoma if I have normal eye pressure?

 
Yes.  Glaucoma can develop without an increase pressure to the eye.  This type of glaucoma is called low-tension or normal-tension glaucoma.  
 

Glaucoma Symptoms

 
Glaucoma is a progressive, non-painful loss of peripheral (side) vision.  Good vision is maintained centrally.  As the disease progresses, people will have a difficult time seeing things out of the corner of their eyes and experience tunnel vision at later stages of the disease.  Eventually, central vision may be reduced until no vision is left. 
 

Glaucoma Testing

 
Tonometry is the measurement of eye pressure by using an instrument called a tonometer.  This information is important in monitoring any pressure changes to the eye.
 
Pachymetry is the measurement of the thickness of the front surface of the eye called the cornea.  Studies show that a thin cornea along with higher than normal pressure increases the risk of developing glaucoma.  
 
Visual field test. This test measures the peripheral or side vision.  This sensitive test can detect early loss of peripheral vision.  
 
OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography). This technology uses an infra-red laser to measure the thickness of the fibers around the optic nerve.  These fibers can become damaged due to glaucoma. In addition, the OCT can be used to measure the opening or angle of the eye where fluid drains.  A smaller angle can lead to angle closure glaucoma where the angle of the eye is shut.  This can cause a sharp pressure rise and can lead to rapid loss of vision.  
 
VEP (Visually-Evoked Potential).  This test measures the speed in which the optic nerve sends information to the brain.   An alternating checker-board pattern is presented on a screen while special sensors measure the speed and strength of the electrical impulses that enter the eye and reach the brain.  The speed is often reduced in glaucoma.
 
PERG(Pattern-Electroretinogram).  This test measures the function of the ganglion cell layer of the macula (central retina).  The ganglion cell layer can be one of the first areas in the retina that can become damaged by glaucoma.  Studies show that this area can be compromised years before any thinning of the fibers of the optic nerve take place. Therefore, it is important to measure the function of this area so that appropriate treatment can take place before peripheral vision becomes affected.  

 

How is glaucoma treated?

 
1) Topical medication. This is the main treatment for glaucoma.  Usually used once to three times a day.  These medications act to increase the outflow of fluid out of the eye or decrease the production of fluid thereby lowering the pressure in the eye. 
 
2) Laser surgery creates multiple small pockets in the drainage system of the eye to increase the outflow of fluid in the eye.  Usually done when more than 2 eye drops are not effective in lowering pressure.  After surgery, eye drops will often still be required to lower the pressure in the eye.
 
3) Conventional surgery makes a new opening for fluid to drain out of the eye.  This treatment is performed when topical medication and laser surgery have failed to control the pressure in the eye.  
 
The goal of treatment for glaucoma is to prevent further loss of vision.  The vision that has already been loss usually cannot be recovered.  On going studies involving stem cells may provide a new way to regenerate loss/damaged cells in the near future.  
 

Our Location & Hours

Optometrist, San Ramon, Optometric Center & Eyewear Galleria

2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
Suite #101
San Ramon, CA 94583 View Map

 
Monday--Thursday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

* Exams 9am-5:15pm Mon-Thurs; 10am-4pm Fri