Bloomington / Normal, IL

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Shedding Light on Glaucoma


Protecting Your Vision Against the Silent Thief

Submitted by VisionPoint Eye Center


January marks Glaucoma Awareness Month, an important time to illuminate the prevalence and impact of this sight-stealing eye disease. Despite its widespread recognition, many people remain uninformed about glaucoma—an eye disease afflicting more than 3 million Americans and more than 80 million individuals globally. What’s concerning is that approximately half of those affected are unaware of their condition. Glaucoma is often termed “the silent thief of sight” because symptoms develop slowly over many years. By the time one notices changes in their eyesight, irreversible vision loss has already occurred.

Comprehensive eye health exams and early detection play pivotal roles in combating glaucoma. Timely detection facilitates prompt intervention, curbing further vision loss. While glaucoma-induced vision loss remains irreversible, its advancement can be mitigated through appropriate treatment.


Understanding Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. It usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in the eye, damaging the optic nerve.

The optic nerve connects the eye to your brain. Damage to the optic nerve can cause permanent vision loss. The result of high intraocular (eye) pressure begins as peripheral vision loss. Those with glaucoma may be able to read the smallest line on the vision test but find it difficult to see moving objects to the side. This progressive eye disease changes your peripheral vision at such a gradual rate that most are unaware that their sight has been compromised. One could possibly be in the late stages of glaucoma and still have 20/20 vision.


Who Is at Risk?

Glaucoma doesn’t discriminate but some people have a higher than normal risk of developing this eye disease. This includes people who:


  • are over age 40
  • have family members with glaucoma
  • have high eye pressure
  • are of African, Hispanic, or Asian heritage
  • have high myopia (nearsightedness)
  • have thin corneas
  • have had an eye injury
  • have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, and migraines


Navigating Glaucoma Treatment

While no definitive cure exists for glaucoma, it can be effectively treated, especially with early detection. There are various treatment options available for glaucoma. These treatments all share a common goal: reduce high eye pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve.

An eye doctor may recommend the following treatment options to help slow glaucoma progression and preserve vision:

  • Medicine Eye Drops:
    Initial intervention often includes medication eye drops to target fluid production and fluid drainage. An eye doctor may prescribe more than one type of eye drop.

  • Oral Medications:
    Eye drops alone may not be sufficient in reducing eye pressure. Therefore, eye drops may be combined with oral medications.

  • Laser Treatment:
    If medicine eye drops and oral medications are not effective, laser surgical options may be used to unblock drainage channels or create alternative pathways for drainage.

  • MIGS Procedures:
    Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries, or MIGS, leverage microscopic implants to enhance fluid drainage. There are several techniques available that are tailored to an individual’s needs.


Safeguarding Vision From Glaucoma

Comprehensive eye health examinations are vital to early glaucoma detection. When caught early, glaucoma treatment is most effective. Proactive diagnosis and timely interventions are keys to preserving sight. The experienced doctors at VisionPoint Eye Center can accurately diagnose this sight-threatening eye disease and provide timely, effective treatment to help save your sight.

Let’s continue to spread awareness about glaucoma this month and beyond, empowering individuals to prioritize their eye health and mitigate the risks posed by this sight-stealing eye disease.


     Your vision is an important part of your overall health. If you would like more information or to schedule a comprehensive eye health exam, contact VisionPoint Eye Center at (309) 662-7700 or visit their website at They are located at 1107 Airport Rd. in Bloomington. Their ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians will be happy to see you.