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diagram of how glaucoma affects the eye

Glaucoma

Sometimes referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S.

At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, we provide a range of treatments to control glaucoma and protect your vision.

So how do I know if I have this condition?

diagram of how glaucoma affects the eye

High Intraocular Pressure and More

Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases. These eye diseases pose a threat to your vision by damaging the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying impulses from the retina (the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye) to the brain. Symptoms can include:

Loss of Peripheral Vision

The most common form of the condition is open-angle glaucoma (also known as primary open-angle glaucoma), and it often presents no obvious symptoms until the disease has progressed. Over time, open-angle glaucoma causes irreversible blind spots in your peripheral vision.

Sudden Vision Changes

Acute angle-closure glaucoma, in contrast, occurs suddenly. Patients suffering from angle-closure glaucoma may experience intense eye pain, headaches, blurry vision, halos around lights, nausea, or vomiting. 

High Intraocular Pressure

Most forms of glaucoma cause higher-than-normal intraocular pressure (IOP), which can damage the optic nerve. If you have high eye pressure, you are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma and should regularly attend eye exams.

Am I at risk of developing this condition?

Genetics Play a Role

While anyone can develop glaucoma, this condition is three to four times more likely to affect African Americans and Hispanics than non-Hispanic whites. This disease is also more common in patients over the age of 40

Other factors that can increase your chance of developing glaucoma include:

  • A family history of the condition
  • Near- or farsightedness
  • Thin corneas
  • Previous eye trauma
  • Diabetes
  • Migraines
  • Poor blood circulation

High IOP and Optic Nerve Damage: The Relationship between Eye Pressure and Vision

Fluid Build-Up

Eye pressure is a delicate balance that is heavily influenced by aqueous humor, the fluid that fills the space between the cornea and the intraocular lens. When this fluid is overproduced or cannot properly drain from the eye, it causes increased eye pressure.

Pressure Damages the Optic Nerve

Over time, high intraocular pressure results in damage to the optic nerve. As the nerve deteriorates, blind spots begin to appear in your visual field. Left untreated, glaucoma eventually leads to blindness. In normal tension glaucoma (NTG), the optic nerve can become damaged in spite of normal intraocular pressure.

Schedule Your Glaucoma Exam Today

At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, our eye exams include a test for glaucoma. People under age 40 should undergo an eye exam every two to five years as recommended by an optometrist. Those over age 40 should have an exam every two to four years, and seniors should undergo an exam every one to two years.

If you are experiencing eye pain or impaired vision, Drs. Daniel Tepper and Parisha Shah can determine the cause of your issues and recommend conservative and effective treatments. Early intervention is key to preventing permanent vision loss, since elevated pressure can irreversibly damage your optic nerve. If you have risk factors for glaucoma or are experiencing any of the complications mentioned on this page, contact our Chicago office online or call:

(773) 376-2020

ophthalmology waiting room
Our office believes in empowering our patients with education and clear instructions. Under our care, you can expect to be informed every step of the way.

"Professional Yet Friendly Eye Care."

1

Ken Hong

2020

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Highly recommended to anyone looking for professional yet friendly eye care! I appreciate the personal touch provided by all staff: the eye doctors, assistants, and receptionists. The reception space is clean, bright, and welcoming, as are the people who work here!

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1

Favian Ochoa

2020

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The ladies there are very helpful and so nice.  Love going there for my follow-ups.   Highly recommend anyone in the humboldt park area go there for eye checks.

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Take a closer look at how glaucoma affects the eye...

What steps can I take to protect my vision?

Exams and Healthy Choices

While you may not be able to prevent glaucoma entirely, there are steps you can take to detect it early and limit the effects on your vision.

Regular Eye Exams

Visiting our office at least once a year for an exam allows your doctor to identify warning signs of glaucoma and begin treatment early.

Avoid Smoking

Researchers have found a link between smoking and glaucomaAvoiding tobacco products may help lower your risk of developing glaucoma.

How do I find out if I have glaucoma?

We Can Diagnose This Condition during Your Regular Eye Exam

During your exam, we can use non-contact tonometry (NCT) to measure eye pressure. The test involves administering a gentle puff of air to the surface of your eye and takes less than five minutes to complete.

non-contact tonometry

We may also use visual field testing to assess your peripheral vision and determine if you are experiencing any loss of vision. We can also use gonioscopy to check if the fluids in your eyes are draining properly. 

What are my treatment options?

Advanced Solutions Tailored to Your Needs

Eye Drops

Typically, medicated eye drops are the first treatment option for less urgent forms of glaucoma. Depending on your needs, we may recommend a drop that reduces fluid production or one that improves the drainage process.

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iStent

The iStent is placed during a minimally invasive surgery to help those with either angle-closure glaucoma or open-angle glaucoma (sometimes called primary open-angle glaucoma). We place two tiny devices into the trabecular meshwork, which is the tissue responsible for draining aqueous humor from your eye. This procedure can allow fluid to drain properly so you can maintain proper IOP.

SLT

Selective laser trabeculoplasty also helps fluid drain from your eye. After your eyes are numbed, a specialized laser opens the meshwork during this surgery to improve the flow of fluid.

Nutritional Options

When used alongside other treatments, a healthy diet can promote eye health. We can recommend types of foods, such as leafy greens and fish, that can help protect your vision.

Treatment Can Reduce the Risk of Blindness

*According to a study published in 2011

At Wicker Park Eye Center, we are equipped to help you control glaucoma and protect your vision.

Do I really need a doctor?

Early Diagnosis Can Prevent Vision Loss

While angle-closure glaucoma presents sudden apparent symptoms, this disease is often a progressive condition that presents no early symptoms. This is often the case in open-angle glaucoma. The best way to prevent vision loss is to catch the disease before it can cause irreversible damage. Our team provides comprehensive eye exams and can identify risk factors and early signs of the disease before it is too late.

1

DENISE ROWLAND

2020

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Friendly, organized, and pretty punctual with appointments. I've never had any problems with Dr. Tepper, who's been my doctor for many years. If you have any questions, he will answer them thoroughly.

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1

Marie McWilliams

2019

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My experience at ( Wicker Park Eye Center), was  just great everyone was really nice to me very Professional knew what they were doing and most of they explain all the detail  they were going to do to me           Thank You

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Wicker Park Eye Center

At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, Dr. Daniel J. Tepper, a board-certified ophthalmologist and Parisha Shah, fellowship-trained optometrists, provide patient-centric eye care. We are affiliated with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and our popular services include:

To schedule an appointment at our eye clinic, please contact us online or call (773) 376-2020.

Contact Us Today

"I have visited Wicker Eye Park Center a few times, with each visit I have received excellent service. Dr. Tepper is the best ophthalmologist that I have seen in many years. He, like his staff, is also courteous respectful and very professional." Juan B.

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Chicago Office

2222 W Division St
Suite 135
Chicago, IL 60622

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