Westminster Eye Center
Ophthalmologist & Glaucoma Specialist located in Westminster, CA
Glaucoma is one of the chief causes of blindness in America today, and the incidence is rising as the population ages. Although a glaucoma diagnosis is frightening, it’s important to know that it doesn’t have to mean you’ll lose your vision. At Westminster Eye Center in Westminster, California, fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist Christine Nguyen, MD, offers medical and surgical glaucoma management to treat the disease at every stage. Get help from Westminster’s best glaucoma specialist now by calling the office or booking online.
Glaucoma Q & A
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is one of the main causes of blindness in America and worldwide today. With this eye disease, optic nerve damage causes vision loss that could eventually lead to blindness.
Your optic nerve relays visual signals to your brain, which then forms the images you see. If you suffer from glaucoma, pressure on the optic nerve interferes with this image relay process, which can cause progressive vision loss.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Glaucoma is often symptomless in the beginning. As the disease progresses, you can experience problems that vary with the type of glaucoma.
The most common kind of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, occurs when your eye doesn't void fluid properly. This triggers an increase in eye pressure and causes optic nerve damage. Usually, open-angle glaucoma doesn't cause any symptoms at first. Very gradually, it can steal your vision starting with blind areas in your peripheral vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when your iris, the colored ring in your eye, blocks eye fluid drainage. It's similar to a sheet of paper laying atop a sink drain. The blockage causes rapid eye pressure escalation, which is called an acute attack. If you have an angle-closure attack, it's an emergency. Symptoms can include severe eye pain, headache, suddenly blurry vision, light halos, red eyes, nausea, and vomiting.
Normal tension glaucoma
Normal tension glaucoma is an unusual form of glaucoma in which your inner-eye pressure is normal. As with open-angle glaucoma, it doesn't typically cause symptoms at the start but can eventually cause vision loss.
Glaucoma is a very serious disease, which is why screening is so important. Dr. Nguyen always screens for glaucoma during your eye exams, and can perform necessary diagnostic tests as other times when you're having symptoms, too.
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
Dr. Nguyen typically diagnoses glaucoma during your comprehensive eye exam. She uses tonometry to measure your eye pressure, and also dilates your eyes to check your optic nerve for damage. A visual field test can also help with glaucoma diagnosis.
What are the treatment options for glaucoma?
Dr. Nguyen is a leading glaucoma treatment specialist who offers all types of glaucoma care, including:
- Eye drops to reduce eye pressure
- Laser treatments to improve eye drainage
- Minimally invasive surgery, including trabectome or eye stent procedures to increase eye drainage and decrease eye pressure
- Traditional glaucoma surgery including trabeculectomy or glaucoma tube shunt surgery. She implants either the Ahmed® Glaucoma Valve or the Baerveldt® Glaucoma Implant to drain eye fluid and reduce eye pressure from within your eye.
Trust Westminster’s top glaucoma specialist to save your sight if you have glaucoma. Call Westminster Eye Center or book online today.