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Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

Do your kids need glasses in order to see clearly? Maybe they have a strong case of nearsightedness, perhaps they have astigmatism, or another type of refractive error. Whatever the cause, getting your kids to wear eyeglasses can be a parenting challenge.

Dr. Ann Inman treats patients from all over Garden Grove, California with their vision correction needs. The knowledgeable, caring staff at Garden Grove Optometry can help you and your kids if they’re struggling with their glasses or don’t want to wear them.

Why Won’t My Child Wear His or Her Glasses?

To help your children get the best vision possible, you first need to understand why they’re fighting with you over their glasses. It usually stems from something physical, emotional, or social, such as:

  • Wrong fit
  • Wrong prescription
  • Personal style
  • Reactions from friends

How do you know which it is? Pay close attention to the signs, from what your kids say, to how they behave, to how they interact with others.

Physical

Improper fit is a big reason why glasses could feel uncomfortable. If they slip down, itch behind the ears, or put pressure on the bridge of the nose, it can explain why a child wouldn’t like to wear them.

If there’s been a big change to their prescription, they may need time to get used to it. If they were given the wrong prescription, they may be straining their eyes, getting headaches, or having eye fatigue. An incorrect prescription can make wearing glasses painful or awkward. It doesn’t correct their vision, either, so they’ll still see blurry images. When this happens, your eye doctor can check the prescription and make an adjustment.

Emotional

Your kids at home aren’t the same as your kids in school, on the sports field, or with their friends. They may be afraid of being made fun of in school, or they may not want the sudden attention on their appearance. These feelings can be even stronger among the tween and teen set.

Social

Even young kids can feel different when they put on a pair of glasses, especially if it’s for the first time. Feeling different or weird, in their eyes, translates to a negative experience. When wearing glasses makes them feel like the odd man out, they may not want to wear them. The last thing your child wants is to feel like a social outcast. After all, everyone wants to belong.

How We Can Help

First, bring your child in to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Our optometrist, Dr. Ann Inman, will check to make sure that your child has the right prescription and that any vision problems are being corrected. Next, we’ll take a look at the glasses and place them on your child’s face to determine if they’ve got the proper fit. Our optician will take care of any adjustments that need to be made.

The Vision They Need, The Style They Want

Fashion isn’t only for adults. Your budding fashionista or trendy young stud wants to look awesome, so don’t forget about style. When your kids look great, they’ll feel great! Give them the top-quality eyewear they need without compromising on style. Your kids are a lot more likely to wear glasses when they like the way they look.

What You Can Do to Help

Encourage, stay positive, and don’t give up. Avoid telling them what you want them to wear. Let them choose for themselves. In the end, they’re the ones wearing the glasses. Making decisions is an important life skill, something they’ll need as they grow up and become more independent.

For younger children, use positive words to encourage them. Talk about how glasses are like magic, letting them see beautiful things around them. Show them how a pretty flower or a bright red truck looks with the glasses on, and how different it looks with the glasses off. For older kids, throw in a little pop culture. Tell them how trendy they’ll look by showing them pictures of celebrities who also wear glasses. You’ll also rack up some cool parent points.

At Garden Grove Optometry, we have the experience and unique approach to children’s eyewear that will make your kids want to wear their glasses. Schedule an eye exam today – you can book an appointment online right here. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

A Vision of Back-To-School

A child back to school, Optometrist Garden Grove, CA

The new school year is coming up fast, and parents and students are getting ready to embark on new adventures and experiences. But this is also a reminder to parents that good eyesight is possibly the most important school supply your child may not have. A good education for children doesn't just mean good schools, good teachers and good friends. Good vision is just as important. Dr. Ann Inman of Garden Grove Optometry in Garden Grove, California explains, “Your child’s eyes are his/her gateway into the world of learning. When your child’s vision is not functioning properly, learning and participation in recreational activities will suffer. Children are not likely to recognize vision problems or report them, and it is, therefore, the responsibility of parents and teachers to recognize signs of visual problems in their children.”

There is a basic set of vision skills that are needed for school. The first is near vision. This is the ability to see clearly at a distance of about 10-13 inches. This is obviously important for reading, writing and close work at your child’s desk. Distance vision, the ability to see clearly and comfortably beyond arm’s reach, is also important in order to see the board in the classroom, and binocular coordination, or the ability to use both eyes together, is important for extra-curricular activities. Both are vision skills needed to be successful in school. Additionally, focusing skills, peripheral awareness, and eye-hand coordination are also important. As a parent, it is your job to be alert for symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision or visual processing problem. A few examples of common conditions that may affect your child's ability to learn are below:

If your child gets headaches while trying to read or do other close work, exhibits a short attention span during visual tasks, and/or has to use a finger to guide reading, it is possible your child may have a condition called convergence insufficiency. This is a condition in which the eyes have a hard time converging on a certain point close up. This may also cause the words to “jump” or “blur” when your child attempts to read.

You may also find that your child's eyes do not seem to move together, that the eyes do not face the same direction, and/or that your child tilts his/her head or squints in order to see better. This could indicate a condition called Strabismus. This results from muscles in one or both eyes being misaligned or underdeveloped. This can cause severe difficulty for your child and may cause more significant problems, including loss of depth perception, if not treated promptly. Dr. Ann Inman adds, “Other symptoms to look out for that may signal vision-related problems are difficulty remembering or identifying shapes, difficulty remembering what was read, excessive blinking or rubbing of his/her eyes, or placing his/her head very close to the book or desk when reading or writing”.

Because changes in your child’s vision can occur without you or your child noticing them, your child should visit the eye doctor every year or more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist. Remember, school vision or pediatrician’s screenings are good, but they are not a substitute for a thorough eye exam.

To learn more, contact Dr. Ann Inman today.

Eye Condition Treatment

Eye care, man rubbing eyes in Garden Grove, CA

Eye problems can range from mild to severe; some are chronic, while others may resolve on their own, never to appear again. The articles below will give you a basic understanding of some of these problems and their implications. The cardinal rule is if your eyes don't look good, feel good or see well, you should visit your doctor.

The following is a short list of common eye conditions we treat, such as astigmatism, dry eye syndrome and presbyopia. For information about cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy please see Eye Disease Management.

Emergency Eye Care Services

Treatment for Eye Injuries and Infections in Garden Grove

hands holding people Garden Grove Optometrist, CA eye doctor

Garden Grove Optometry offers emergency services. Dr. Inman and Dr. Gaylord offer emergency services that require immediate and urgent eye care. If your eye is injured, don’t try to judge the severity of it. Immediately seek the opinion of an eye doctor to lessen the risk of hurting your vision. We understand ocular emergencies can arise at any time.

Please call our Garden Grove, CA office: 714-500-7577 for further instructions.

 

Call Us! 714-500-7577

 

Symptoms that require emergency service include, but are not limited to:

  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Sudden double vision
  • Sudden red/painful eye
  • Pink Eye
  • New onset flashes and/or floaters
  • Foreign body in the eye (especially metal or chemicals)

Things NOT to do while waiting for professional medical assistance:

  • DO NOT press on an injured eye or allow the victim to rub the eye(s).
  • DO NOT attempt to remove a foreign body that is resting on the cornea (the clear surface of the eye through which we see) or that appears to be embedded in any part of the eye.
  • DO NOT use dry cotton (including cotton swabs) or sharp instruments (such as tweezers) on the eye.
  • DO NOT attempt to remove an embedded object.

DO call our office at 714-500-7577 for further instructions! We are here for you!

Dr. Inman Answers YOUR Eye Emergency Questions

Foreign Body Removal

I have sand stuck in my eye, is it dangerous?

Any kind of foreign material in your eye can be dangerous. Usually, sand can be flushed out of the eye with water or saline. However, it can often scratch your cornea so you should see your optometrist if it feels irritated.

I have something stuck in my eye, how should I remove it?

You should never try to remove anything that is actually stuck in your eye. If it can’t be flushed out with water or saline, you need to see your local eye doctor. Trying to remove a foreign object yourself will usually just embed it further. If something has pierced your eye such as a coat hanger of a piece of metal, you will need to go to an emergency room immediately.

I feel like I have dirt in my eye when I wear contact lenses, is that dangerous?

Contact lenses can cause a foreign body sensation or the feeling like you have dirt in your eyes for different reasons. It could just be that your eyes are getting too dry but, you may also be getting a keratitis (a corneal infection) or lenses are dirty or old. It’s best not to wear your contact lenses until you can be evaluated by your optometrist.

I spilled a chemical in my eye, what should I do?

If any kind of chemical liquid or spray gets in your eye, flush it immediately with cold water for 5-10 minutes and go to see your optometrist immediately.  Toddlers, young children, and people who work with chemicals are especially at risk of getting damaging chemical burns and need to be treated immediately

I spilled some chemical in my eye, should I remove my contacts or leave them in?

Whenever you get a chemical in your eye, you should immediately flush your eye with water or saline and remove and throw out your contacts lenses. Your contact lenses will absorb chemicals and it is impossible to thoroughly clean them. If your eye feels okay, it is generally recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before trying to re-apply contact lenses. And, remember, goggles should always be worn when using chemicals that may splash into your eye.

Scratches

My child scratched my eye...what should I do?

If you feel pain or a feeling like something is in your eye, you should visit your local eye doctor to take a look at it immediately to determine the best treatment. If you're in the Garden Grove area, you can call our eye clinic for fast treatment. If you happen to have artificial teardrops, you can use those in the eye every 20 minutes or so until you get to our office.

Is a scratch on the eye dangerous?

A scratch on your cornea (the outer clear part of the eye that covers the colored iris part) can be dangerous because it may become infected and can lead to scarring which may cause reduced vision or blindness. This type of injury can also lead to another condition called “recurrent erosions” where the cornea has continued episodes of pain, light sensitivity, watering and possible scarring that become a chronic or lifetime problem.

Trauma

I got hit in the eye with a baseball, is that dangerous for my vision?

Yes, being hit in the eye with any kind of object can be dangerous and you should seek the care of your local eye doctor immediately.

Should I visit an eye doctor if I got a black eye?

Yes, a black eye needs to be properly evaluated to rule out things like a corneal abrasion, inflammation inside of the eye, and possible damage to the back part of your eye, the retina. An eye exam is strongly recommended.

I have pain in my eye after getting a black eye, should I visit the emergency room or an eye doctor?

At Garden Grove Optometry, we recommend that you see an eye doctor. Your optometrist has the unique equipment and expertise in dealing with injuries to the eye that the emergency room does not have. In fact, for eye emergencies that do not require immediate surgery, most emergency rooms will refer you back to an optometrist anyway.

Kids

My toddler is complaining that his eye hurts, should I make an appointment with the optometrist?

Yes, children often have trouble voicing or understanding what is going on with their eyes and vision. It is always worth an exam by your optometrist to see what’s going on. Furthermore, most eye problems would not be visible to the parent, so there may be a tendency to ignore a child’s complaint since they are not experiencing it themselves.

My child came home from school saying that his eye hurts, what should I do?

Try to figure out it which eye it is and when it started. Was it related to any certain activity? Does it feel any better or worse since it started? Try not to put words in their mouths and remain calm when asking these questions to your child so they don’t panic and can answer your questions more accurately. Then, take this information with you to see your optometrist.

My child’s eye looks very red, what should I do?

Red eyes can mean very many different things and can present in many different degrees of severity. A pinkish tint to an eye that occurs right after swimming, may just need some artificial tears or lubricating drops. However, if this condition continues to be a problem or gets worse, it could be more serious and needs to be attended to.  A very red eye, especially with any mucous or watery discharge needs to be seen to immediately. Also, any kind of pink or red eye that has an unknown cause should be looked at by your optometrist.

My child has a weird bump in his eye, should I make an appointment?

There are a lot of different kinds of bumps on children’s eyes. The most common ones are on the lids and may be called “styes” or “chalazions” It is extremely important that these are treated properly and immediately for the best outcome. It is worth a visit to your Garden Grove optometrist to make sure this is the correct diagnosis and to determine the best treatment.

Severe Emergencies

I just lost my vision in one eye, what should I do?

A complete and sudden loss of vision in one eye is a serious eye emergency and needs medical attention immediately.  It is best to call your eye doctor’s office and discuss your symptoms.

My eye is bleeding what should I do?

If the eye is bleeding due to an injury, it needs to be treated immediately. If it is just a little red spot on the white part of your eye (the sclera) you can see the eye doctor the next day.

I am seeing double, should I go to the eye doctor?

Double vision has many different meanings to people. Often people will say they are having double vision when they really mean “blurred” vision, not actually two images of a single object. You should note when this first occurred and if it is constant or intermittent. One of the most helpful things to do is figure out if its double with the right eye, left eye or both? You can do this by simply covering one eye with your hand, note the effect, and repeat with the other eye.  This can be very useful in figuring out the possible causes and how urgent the patient needs to be seen. Regardless, make an appointment ASAP with your local Garden Grove eye doctor.

All SUDDEN loss of vision, or double vision (diplopia), needs immediate attention and the advice of your eye doctor or physician.

I have severe pain in my eye, what do I do?

Severe eye pain is an emergency and needs to be seen by your local eye doctor immediately.

I feel a lot of pressure behind my eye, what should I do?

Pressure, vs pain, can be caused by a number of serious conditions. You should be evaluated by your eye doctor in Garden Grove (if you're in town) as soon as possible to assess the issue.

Click here to learn more about our Advanced Technology at Garden Grove Optometrist in CA

Also ask us about Lasik co-management at our Garden Grove eye care clinic.

Computer Vision Syndrome

How to Minimize Digital Strain on Your Eyes

college students studying - Garden Grove Optometry in CA

Workspace Alterations

Proper Lighting and Screen Brightness: Use fewer light fixtures or lower voltage light bulbs and close curtains or blinds when possible. Adjust the brightness and contrast of your monitor to the levels that are most comfortable.

Reduce Glare: Set up your computer where glare from windows won’t affect your screen or cover windows when this is not possible. An anti-glare screen on your monitor or an anti-reflective (AR) or anti-glare coating applied to your eyewear can also help to minimize glare and the strain it causes to your vision.

Screen size and distance: You want to make sure you are using a high quality (such as a flat LCD) screen that has a relatively large display. Your viewing distance should be about an arm’s length away with the top of the monitor at about eye level or slightly below.

Call 714-530-2020

Eye Care Tips to Minimize Digital Strain on Your Eyes

Computer Eyewear

computer eye glasses - Garden Grove Optometry in CA

Computer glasses reduce eye strain by adjusting the focus slightly so your eyes feel like they are focusing on something further away. They also have a tint to remove the glare and block blue light from entering into your eyes. There are a number of options for computer eyewear, both if you need prescription eyewear and not.

Keep Eyes Moist

eye exam - Garden Grove Optometry in CA

When viewing a digital screen or monitor for an extended period of time, we tend to blink less frequently. Blinking however, is critical for keeping the eyes moist, which allows them to remain clear and comfortable and to avoid dry eyes, irritation, blurry vision or eye fatigue.

Give Your Eyes a Break

blue light consultation - Garden Grove Optometry in CA

Schedule and take frequent breaks from your screen. Follow the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Take this time to stand up and stretch your back, neck and legs as well.

Adults & Kids Are Susceptible to Computer Eye Strain

pediatric eye care - Garden Grove Optometry in CA

It is important to know that both adults and children alike are susceptible to computer eye strain from computers and digital devices. With the growing use of such devices in our everyday lives, it is important to start educating ourselves and our children on how to combat the negative effects of these habits.

Regular eye examinations and proper viewing habits can help to prevent or reduce the development of the symptoms associated with Computer Vision Syndrome.

Our Office Hours and Location

Located Right Next to Waterfront Cafe on Brookhurst St in Garden Grove, CA

Call 714-530-2020

Request Appointment Online

Comprehensive Eye Exams

Eye Care, Black Smiling with Eyeglasses in Garden Grove, CA.

We Test Much More than Your Vision

Regular eye examinations are a critical part of preventive health care for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a toddler, teenager or retiree – our professional evaluations of your vision and eye health will help keep you seeing sharp.

At Garden Grove Optometry, we’ll inspect your eyes thoroughly, inspecting for any vision conditions or signs of ocular disease.

Our office is fully equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic tools, and we welcome patients from the whole region to benefit from our first-rate, friendly service and highly accurate eye exams.

Eye care experts recommend you have a complete eye exam every year to asses your risk for potentially damaging eye conditions, as well as to keep on top of any changes in vision you may be experiencing.

What happens at a comprehensive eye exam?

Each and every patient at our Garden Grove, CA, practice, is a unique individual with unique visual demands. Depending upon your health issues, age and vision requirements, we customize our eye exams to match your needs.

Here’s a basic step-by-step breakdown of what your eye exam may include:

  • Medical case history: this is the time to tell us about any ocular symptoms or vision problems you may be experiencing. We’ll also ask you for information about current medications, your overall health condition and family history of eye problems.
  • Preliminary eye tests: we’ll assess your eye muscle mobility, peripheral awareness, color vision and reaction of your pupils to light.
  • Accommodation (focusing) and Eye teaming/Binocularity: your eyes must function together efficiently in order to see well. These neurological screenings are a way to evaluate how your eyes work together to focus, and how effectively your eyes switch focus between near and far.
  • Visual acuity and Refraction: Automated and manual (doctor-controlled) instruments will be used to determine the most accurate vision prescription.
  • You’ll be requested to read a standard eye chart that tests vision at various distances. The normal measurement is defined as 20/20 vision. We’ll also use a phoropter to check refractive error and diagnose nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. This procedure is done by having you look through various lenses and tell us which give you the clearest vision. We may also use a retinoscope to measure how well light focuses on your retina with each of these respective lenses.
  • Visual Field Testing: If necessary, we’ll use computerized equipment to assess your ability to see to your side, above and below.
  • Review and Consultation: after we finish all of the testing and examinations, we will meet with you in our Garden Grove, CA, office to share our findings. Together, we will decide upon the ideal treatment plan or vision correction for you.

Book Your Next Eye Exam Today!

Located Right Next to Waterfront Cafe on Brookhurst St in Garden Grove, CA

Eyeglass Basics

Modern eyewear serves a dual purpose. In addition to being a vision-correcting medical device used to enhance your safety and quality of life, eyeglasses have become a major fashion accessory. Therefore, when it comes to selecting eyeglasses there are many important factors to consider.

The Frame

Frames are made from a large variety of materials ranging from acetates and hard plastics to metals and metal alloys. The quality of frame materials is very high nowadays with many cutting-edge manufacturers investing heavily in developing new innovations and materials to make stronger, more flexible, lighter and more beautiful frames.

In considering the optimal material for your eyeglass frame, your lifestyle plays a big role.  Children and those with active lifestyles require durable and flexible frames that are resistant to breaks from hits and falls.  Those who have skin allergies need to seek out frames made from hypoallergenic materials such as acetate, titanium or stainless steel.  Other characteristics of frame materials to consider are the weight or flexibility of the material as well as the price.  Many designers also use wood, bone or precious metals to adorn frames and add an extra .

Hinges and nosepads also play an important role in durability and comfort of your frames. Children in particular can benefit from spring hinges and nosepads which can keep the frames from slipping off. Rimless or semi-rimless glasses are also an option for those that durability is not a primary concern.

Frame size is a very important factor in frame selection.  Frames should fit well and not slip off the nose or be too tight and press against the temples or the sides of the nose.

More and more top fashion design brands are coming out with designer eyewear collections to suit every taste and style.  Frames come in all colors, sizes and shapes so the choices are endless in finding a frame that suits your personal style and looks good with your face shape and coloring.

Lenses

Even though people spend much more time focusing on frame selection, as a medical device, the lenses of your eyeglasses are the most important part.  It is therefore very important that you obtain your lenses (and therefore your glasses) from a reputable source.  It is always best to buy eyeglasses through an eye doctor who is able to check that the lenses are made and fitted properly to ensure your best possible vision.

There are a number of variables to consider in selecting lenses.

If you have a high prescription which may require thicker lenses, you may want to ask for aspheric lenses which are thinner than normal lenses.

There are lenses that are made from materials that are more durable and shatter-resistant such as polycarbonate or trivex, which can be useful for children or sports eyewear.

Photochromic lenses can serve as eyeglasses and sunglasses as the lenses darken when exposed to the sunlight to block out the sunlight and UV rays.

Polarized lenses create greater eye comfort by reducing glare specifically from the water or snow and are great for sunglasses for those that spend time outdoors.

There are also a number of coating options that you can add onto lenses to enhance certain characteristics such as anti-reflective coatings, anti-scratch coatings or UV coatings to reduce exposure from the sun.  Adding a coating may require special cleaning or treatment so ask your eye doctor or optician about special instructions.

Eyeglasses Over 40

Once you approach age 40 you are likely to begin to experience presbyopia which is the loss of the ability to focus on close objects.  This happens as the eye begins to age and can easily be corrected with reading glasses. However, if you already have an eyeglass prescription for distance vision, you will need a solution that enables you to see your best both near and far.

There are a number of options available for presbyopes including bifocals, multifocals and progressive lenses with new technology improving the options all the time.  You should speak to your eye doctor about the best solution for your individual needs.

Whether they are for a child’s first pair, a second pair of designer frames or a senior with a complicated prescription, you should always consult with your eye doctor for a new pair of glasses.  Ultimately, your eyeglasses have a job and that it to help you to see your best to get the most out of every day.

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Eye care, couple sitting on bench in Garden Grove, CA

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that only affects diabetics. It occurs when the fragile vascular network that supplies the retina – the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that helps us see – begins to swell or leak. During the beginning stages of the disease, there may be no noticeable symptoms, so it’s important to have your eyes checked at least once a year, if you have diabetes.

Once symptoms of diabetic retinopathy do develop, they can include: dark or black spots in your visual field, or blurry vision, and it increases over time. This is a result of bleeding at the back of the eye, which prevents a clear image from being transmitted from the retina to the brain.

Whether you have type 1, type 2, or even just gestational diabetes, you are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer you have had the disease, the greater the risk. It is essential to keep your blood sugar levels under control to prevent vision loss, and this may require a trip back to your primary care physician.

Treating diabetic retinopathy can include vitrectomy, replacing the inner gel-like substance that supports the eyeball structure, and laser surgery.

Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide, for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!

Macular Degeneration Treatment

Eye care, woman wearing eyeglasses in Garden Grove, CA

Untreated macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over 65 years old.

While researchers have not yet discovered a cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), there are treatment options which prevent the disease from progressing to blindness, and in some cases, they can even improve vision. It’s important to have an open discussion with your eye doctor about the risks and limitations of AMD treatments.

Types of Macular Degeneration:

There are 2 basic types of AMD, the wet form and the dry form.

  • Dry macular degeneration is considered the less aggressive form of AMD. It typically progresses much more slowly, and the level of eyesight damage is less severe. Dry AMD is detected during routine eye exams, which is why it’s important to have yearly testing. Treating Dry AMD often involves high doses of zinc and antioxidants which have been shown to slow diseases progression.
  • Wet macular degeneration is the more severe form of AMD. It occurs when there is abnormal blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), and leakage, which can cause scar tissue to develop. Treatments include laser surgery, injecting light sensitive dyes, or AMD medication injected directly into the eye to inhibit angiogenesis.

Learn More

AMD is an age related eye disease that runs in families, and is a leading cause of blindness in our aging population. There is no cure for this ocular disease, and AMD related vision loss is cannot usually be recovered. There are treatments, and preventative measures that can be taken, if detected early, so routine eye exams are essential.

Read more about macular degeneration symptoms and treatment.

Glaucoma Testing & Treatment

Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!

Glaucoma Testing & Treatment

Glaucoma Questions & Answers

Glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable vision loss and blindness in adults in the United States and Canada and the second leading cause of blindness in the World.

senior woman smilingWhat is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is generally described as a painless eye disease that is characterized by high fluid pressure in your eye (inter-ocular pressure) that damages the optic nerve and surrounding tissue in the eye.
When detected in the early stages, glaucoma can often be controlled, preventing severe vision loss and blindness. However, symptoms of noticeable vision loss often only occur once the disease has progressed. This is why glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight”. Unfortunately, once vision is lost from the disease, it usually can’t be restored.

What are the causes of glaucoma?

We don’t really know what causes glaucoma, but, we know there are certain risk factors. At Garden Grove Optometry, we screen everyone for this sight-threatening disease and closely monitor anyone who is more of a “suspect”.

Who is at risk for itMan in living room reading newspaper smiling?

Everyone is at risk of developing glaucoma, but, we know that certain risk factors such as your age, a family history of glaucoma, an African-American, Asian or Latino heritage, and/or cardiovascular diseases (like diabetes) will put you in a higher risk category.

Prevention is possible only with early detection and treatment. Since symptoms are often absent, regular eye exams which include a glaucoma screening are essential, particularly for individuals at risk of the disease. While anyone can get glaucoma, the following traits put you at a higher risk:

  • Age over 60
  • Hispanic or Latino descent, Asian descent
  • African Americans over the age of 40 (glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans, 6-8 times more common than in Caucasians.)
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Diabetics
  • People with severe nearsightedness
  • Certain medications (e.g. steroids)
  • Significant eye injury (even if it occurred in childhood)

How is glaucoma harmful to vision?

senior couple in whiteMost forms of glaucoma are a slow, painless degenerative decrease in your peripheral vision, and then eventually, it will affect your central vision.

Can glaucoma cause blindness?

With the advances in our technology and treatments, most patients who see their optometrists regularly never lose their eyesight completely.

What are the signs of glaucoma?

The most common type of glaucoma, Open Angle Glaucoma, typically doesn’t have any warning signs. There is a more rare, aggressive, sudden type of glaucoma, called Angle Closure Glaucoma, where you will have pain, blurred vision, and a red eye. At Garden Grove Optometry, our eye doctors will look to see if you are at risk for this often blinding form of glaucoma as well.
The primary forms of glaucoma are open-angle and narrow-angle, with open-angle being the most common type.

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) gradually progresses without pain or noticeable vision loss initially affecting peripheral vision.  By the time visual symptoms appear, irreparable damage has usually occurred, however the sooner treatment starts the more further vision loss can be prevented.  When untreated, vision loss will eventually result in total loss of side vision (or tunnel vision) and eventually total vision loss.

Normal-tension glaucoma or low-tension glaucoma is another form of open-angle glaucoma in which the intraocular pressure remains within the normal level. The cause of this form of glaucoma is not known, but it is believed to have something to do with insufficient blood flow to the optic nerve, causing damage.  Individuals of Japanese descent, women and those with a history of vascular disease or low blood pressure are at higher risk.

Angle-closure glaucoma can be a sudden increase in eye pressure causing severe pain, blurred vision, halos, nausea and headaches. The pressure is caused by a blockage in fluid at the front of the eye which is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately.  Without prompt treatment to clear the blockage vision can be permanently lost.

Congenital glaucoma is an inherited form of the disease that is present at birth.  The babies are born with a defect that slows the normal drainage of fluid out of the eye and are usually diagnosed by the time they turn one.  In these cases there are typically some noticeable symptoms such as excessive tearing, cloudiness or haziness of the eyes, large or protruding eyes or light sensitivity.  Surgery is usually performed with a very high success rate of restoring full vision.

Secondary glaucomas are complications that develop from eye surgeries, injuries or other medical conditions such as cataracts, tumors, or a condition called uveitis which causes inflammation.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes can result of another serious form called neovascular glaucoma.

Pigmentary glaucoma is a rare form in which pigment from the iris sheds and clogs the drainage of fluid from the eye resulting in inflammation and damage to the eye and drainage system. .

Treatment of glaucoma is dependant upon the severity and type of glaucoma present.

How is glaucoma detected?

grandparents with baby boy grandchild | garden grove optometryThe best way to detect glaucoma is by having regular eye exams with our optometrists to establish a “baseline” on what is normal for your eyes. Then, we can compare this data year to year and look for small changes that would alert your optometrist that there may be a problem. What is “normal” for one person, may not be normal for another person.
During a routine comprehensive eye exam to check for glaucoma, your eye doctor will dilate your eye to examine the optic nerve for signs of glaucoma and will also measure the intraocular pressure (IOP) with an instrument called a tonometer.  Tonometry involves numbing the eye with drops and then gently pressing on the surface of the eye to measure the pressure.  Since your IOP can fluctuate throughout the day and glaucoma can exist without elevated IOP this is not enough to rule out the disease. If there are signs of the disease, further testing will be performed.

What is the Visual Field Test?

A visual field test is designed to detect any blind spots in your peripheral or side field of vision.  You will be asked to place your head in front of a machine while looking ahead and indicate when you see a signal in your peripheral field of view.

Your doctor may also measure the thickness of the cornea with an ultrasonic wave instrument in a test called pachymetry or use imaging techniques such as digital retina scanning or optical coherence tomography (OCT) to create an image of your optic nerve to look for glaucoma damage.

How is glaucoma treated?

Most glaucoma is managed with eye drops. Sometimes we will also recommend laser treatments as well.

Can glaucoma be prevented?

The best way to prevent glaucoma is by yearly eye exams and living a healthy lifestyle.

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