Glaucoma

Neil H. Simmons, O.D.

Optometrist located in Leake County, Carthage, MS

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, and it affects approximately 3 million Americans. The good news is that there’s much that can be done to treat glaucoma, especially early on. At Neil H. Simmons, O.D., in Leake County, Mississippi, Dr. Simmons specializes in diagnosing and treating glaucoma, giving you the best chances for maintaining your vision. To learn more, call or book an appointment online.

Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that arise when fluids build up and increasingly put pressure on your optic nerve. Gradually, this limits your vision. There are several types of glaucoma, including:

  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Normal-tension glaucoma
  • Pigmentary glaucoma


Whatever the type of the condition, the end result is the same: Your eyesight in one or both of your eyes gradually diminishes if the pressure isn’t relieved.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

The symptoms of glaucoma depend upon the type. In open-angle glaucoma, for example, symptoms typically start out as dark spots on your peripheral or central vision that can progress to tunnel vision and blindness.

With angle-closure glaucoma, you may experience:

  • Headache
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • “Halos” of light


If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma, call Dr. Simmons right away or go to your nearest emergency room.


Who’s at risk for glaucoma?

Glaucoma’s cause is largely a mystery, but medical researchers have made connections to the following risk factors:

  • Age: Over 60
  • Heredity: A family history of the condition
  • Race: Blacks and Hispanics are more prone to glaucoma
  • Existing medical conditions: Diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, for example


In addition to these risk factors, some people have naturally occurring intraocular pressure, or high internal eye pressure, that leads to glaucoma.


How is glaucoma treated?

One of the best ways to treat glaucoma is to catch it as early as possible, which is accomplished through regular visits to Dr. Simmons. During these routine examinations, Dr. Simmons runs the following tests:

  • Tonometry, or pressure testing
  • Optic nerve damage testing
  • A visual field test
  • Pachymetry, or corneal thickness testing
  • Gonioscopy, or inspection of the drainage angle


If Dr. Simmons detects the early stages of glaucoma, there’s much he can do to slow its progress. Since there’s no cure for glaucoma, the main goal behind Dr. Simmons’ treatment is to reduce the pressure in your eyes, which can be accomplished through:

  • Eye drops or oral medications
  • Laser treatment
  • Surgery


The level of intervention largely depends on how far along your glaucoma has advanced.


If you suspect that glaucoma might be present, don’t hesitate to call the Neil H. Simmons, O.D., practice or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.