Glaucoma services offered in The Loop, Chicago, IL

Glaucoma develops if pressure builds up in your eye and may lead to blindness if left untreated. Michigan Avenue Primary Care in The Loop of downtown Chicago, Illinois, is a multispecialty practice providing the highest quality ophthalmology care to patients with glaucoma. It also offers screening exams to detect glaucoma in its earliest stages. To arrange your glaucoma exam, call Michigan Avenue Primary Care or schedule a consultation online today.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma affects the optic nerves at the back of your eyes. These nerves transmit information from your eye to your brain to provide you with sight.

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve fibers. As a result, fluid builds up in your eyes, creating pressure and leading to blind spots and vision loss. There are several types, including open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma.

Open-angle glaucoma

Open-angle is the most common glaucoma, affecting up to 90% of patients. It happens when the eye’s drainage canals develop resistance. Fluid can’t drain properly, causing pressure to build-up, eventually leading to glaucoma.

Closed-angle glaucoma

Closed-angle glaucoma is a much rarer acute form where the angle between your cornea and iris is too narrow. This could occur if your pupil dilates too quickly, blocking the eye drainage canals.

What symptoms does glaucoma cause?

During its early stages, glaucoma may not cause symptoms. As the disease progresses, you might develop:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Blind spots
  • Rainbow halos
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Red or swollen eyes
  • Tunnel vision

To prevent glaucoma from causing irreversible damage, it’s essential to attend regular eye exams at Michigan Avenue Primary Care. You should also visit your eye doctor if you develop glaucoma symptoms between routine exams as closed-angle glaucoma can cause blindness within days.

Why would I get glaucoma?

Anyone can get glaucoma, but it’s more likely to affect those with the following risk factors:

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Older age
  • High intraocular pressure
  • Optic nerve problems
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cataracts
  • Eye tumors or inflammation
  • Eye injuries or infections
  • Blocked intraocular blood vessels

You can reduce your glaucoma risk by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, protecting your eyes, and managing chronic diseases like diabetes properly.

How is glaucoma treated?

Glaucoma treatments include:

Eye drops

Initial glaucoma treatment usually involves using eye drops containing medication that reduces the pressure inside your eyes.

Oral medication

If eye drops alone aren’t reducing the pressure in your eyeballs, your doctor may also prescribe oral medications.

Laser surgery

Laser surgery is an option for patients whose glaucoma medications don’t work. Light energy in the laser beam opens up clogged channels in the eyes that prevent fluid drainage and lead to pressure building up.

Glaucoma surgery

Glaucoma surgery might be necessary if medications and laser therapies don’t work or less invasive procedures aren’t suitable for you.

Call Michigan Avenue Primary Care today or request an appointment online to learn more about glaucoma treatments and arrange a screening.