Foothill Eye Institute

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Pasadena and the surrounding Los Angeles County Area

Glaucoma, a condition that causes irreversible vision loss, develops when the pressure inside your eye increases and presses on the optic nerve. At Foothill Eye Institute, which has locations in Pasadena, Glendora, West Covina, Montebello, and Downtown Los Angeles, California, ophthalmologist Ron Gutmark, MD, and his team manage glaucoma with eye drops and glaucoma surgeries. Call Foothill Eye Institute to schedule a visit or book your appointment online today.

 Glaucoma Q&A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a progressive eye condition that damages your optic nerve, which is the nerve in the back of your eye that sends input to your brain so you can see. There are several different types of the condition, but here are the main two:

Open-angle glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma comes with no warning signs in its earliest stages, but later you get blind spots in your peripheral vision. It develops when the drainage canals in your eye slowly become clogged, which causes an increase in your intraocular pressure (IOP).

Angle-closure glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma is less common than open-angle glaucoma. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma develops very quickly from a blockage in the drainage canals. If you get symptoms, you need medical attention immediately. 

Other types of glaucoma include normal tension glaucoma, which causes optic nerve damage without increasing your eye’s pressure, and congenital glaucoma, which is present from birth. 

What are the signs and symptoms of glaucoma?

The specific symptoms of glaucoma depend on the type you have. If you have open-angle glaucoma, it’s unlikely that you’ll notice any change in your vision until the disease is relatively advanced. Once you lose vision, you can’t get it back. This is why it’s important to get regular eye exams with the team at Foothill Eye Institute.

Angle-closure glaucoma can cause an “attack,” or severe flare-up of symptoms. If you have angle-closure glaucoma and experience an attack, you need to get to Foothill Eye Institute as soon as possible. Symptoms include:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Severe forehead pain
  • Rapidly decreased vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Eye redness
  • Seeing light halos

The team at Foothill Eye Institute measures your intraocular pressure at many of your eye exam visits. They can tell you if you have glaucoma or are at risk of developing it 

What are my treatment options for glaucoma?

Treating glaucoma requires a personalized approach considering the amount of vision loss you have and the type of glaucoma affecting you. While glaucoma can’t be reversed and any vision loss you get is permanent, there are treatments to slow the condition’s progression.

The team at Foothill Eye Institute primarily treats glaucoma with medicated eye drops. Eye drops that treat glaucoma work by lowering your IOP. Some of them reduce fluid production in your eyes, while others improve drainage. 

Your glaucoma treatment plan might also involve one of several surgeries for glaucoma. Foothill Eye Institute can treat the condition with trabeculoplasty or iridotomy, which both improve drainage from the eye. 

To schedule an evaluation and learn more about treatment options for glaucoma, call Foothill Eye Institute or reserve an appointment online today.