What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a slow, progressive, and asymptomatic disease of the eye. It is painless and vision is not affected until the disease is already advanced. It is the second leading cause of blindness for Caucasians and the number one cause of blindness for African-Americans in the United States.
Glaucoma is caused by irregular eye pressure. In much the same way that blood pressure can be a measure of your heart’s health, eye pressure is measured by an ophthalmologist to determine whether or not you have or may develop vision-threatening glaucoma. Since an elevated eye pressure isn’t something you can detect on your own, it is important to visit an ophthalmologist regularly to get evaluated, particularly if you have any condition that may make you more prone to developing glaucoma.
How is glaucoma treated?
Glaucoma is usually treated very simply by eye drops that can be administered on your own. As long as elevated eye pressure is detected in time, blindness from glaucoma can be prevented.
Retinal disease and macular degeneration
What is retinal disease?
The retina is the back portion of the eye containing the cells that respond to light, or photoreceptors. Retinal diseases vary greatly in severity, complexity to diagnose and treat, and cause. Common retinal diseases include:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Retinal detachment
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Epiretinal membrane
- Retinal tear
- Macular hole
Everyone should be screened on a regular basis for these diseases to ensure they are caught as early as possible and to facilitate treatment.
In addition to screening for these diseases, a retinal screening by an ophthalmologist can also provide insight into your vascular health, catching signs of damage that otherwise could go undetected. Dr. Chris Zieker will work with your primary care physician or cardiologist to determine an overall care plan to facilitate your complete health.