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Posted on 03-31-2017

Our Longmont Eye Doctor Explains the Difference between Cataracts and Glaucoma

Glaucoma and cataracts are eye disorders that could lead to severe vision impairment unless treated with medications or surgery by your optometrist in Longmont. Additionally, the slow but progressive development of cataracts and glaucoma necessitates adults over 35 receive annual eye exams so that eye doctor can detect either disease in its early stages. Waiting until glaucoma or cataracts have begun producing noticeable symptoms means these diseases will require more aggressive treatment measures to avoid permanent vision problems.

Man getting tested for ocular diseases.

Glaucoma Symptoms

When the pressure within the eye (specifically, the aqueous humor) exceeds normal levels, inflammation of the optic nerve occurs which interferes with the ability of the eye to transmit visual signals to the brain. Open angle, chronic glaucoma (excessive fluid in the eye) is diagnosed more commonly than closed-angle glaucoma (drainage obstruction). Open-angle glaucoma does not cause symptoms until in an advanced stage. Signs of progressed, chronic glaucoma include blind spots appearing centrally or peripherally in your field of vision and tunnel vision. Glaucoma does not cause pain or discharge.

Glaucoma Treatment

Prostaglandin, carbonic anhydrase and beta blocker eye drops are prescribed by your optometrist in Longmont to reduce ocular pressure due to common glaucoma causes/risk factors such as genetics, aging, smoking, diabetes, and being nearsighted or farsighted. When glaucoma does not respond to eye drops, drainage implant, sclerotomy or other laser surgery may be needed to control pressure.

Cataract Symptoms

Worsening vision blurriness or cloudiness and reduced visual sensitivity to contrast and colors are the two main signs of cataracts. Cataracts are thick deposits of proteins forming the lens that are opaque or yellowish. Cataract causes include aging, diabetes, excessive exposure to sunlight, taking steroids, trauma and certain metabolic disorders. Cataract treatment involves a simple procedure to remove the cataract and eye lens and replace the lens with a new, synthetic lens. Cataract surgery takes less than an hour to complete and is performed as an outpatient procedure.

Contact Our Local Longmont Optometrist for More Information Today!

If you haven't had an eye exam lately, please call your Longmont eye doctor to schedule an appointment today: 303-651-6700 today. Remember, cataract symptoms and glaucoma symptoms do not emerge until both diseases have progressed beyond their early stages.

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