Dr. Juan Arciniega, board certified ophthalmologist with Gulf Coast Eye Institute, sat down with Mary Avila-Shears on the Daytime at Nine segment of Good Morning Valley. He discussed with Mary the importance of having your eyes checked routinely to prevent glaucoma.
“Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve,” explained Dr. Arciniega. “The optic nerve is the cable that connects the eye to the brain. It’s a really tiny cable. With glaucoma, that cable gets infected and does not transmit correctly to the brain.”
He went on to explain that the condition is usually related to the high pressure inside the eye. Left untreated, that pressure will begin to damage the optic nerve. “Initially, there are no symptoms but down the road, when the glaucoma is moderate to severe, you will have loss of vision,” explained Dr. Arciniega. “Since there are no symptoms early on, unless you see your eye doctor and we take a look at your optic nerve and check the pressure, there will be no way for you to know that you have glaucoma.”
Dr. Arciniega explained that glaucoma is more prevalent in Hispanics and African Americans. “It’s also age related,” he said. “So the older we are, the more risk we have.”
There is no way to prevent glaucoma. Although once diagnosed, there are many treatment options. “The take-home message would be to see your eye doctor at least once a year,” said Dr. Arciniega. “If you have family members with glaucoma, go more frequently, as glaucoma runs in families.”
Treatment can range from eye drops and Beta blockers to laser surgery and trabeculoplasty. “At Gulf Coast Eye, we have the latest diagnostic equipment to make an early diagnosis and the best treatment options, giving you the best chance at preserving vision,” said Dr. Arciniega.