Glaucoma - FAQ


Glaucoma - Did you know January is Glaucoma Awareness Month?


Dr. Toler is licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine to diagnose and treat Glaucoma. In addition to Glaucoma Dr. Toler can diagnose and treat many other eye related diseases and disorders.

What is glaucoma?


It is an eye disease in which the internal pressure of the eye rises to a point that the optic nerve becomes damaged. The pressure builds up because to much fluid is coming into the eye, improper drainage of the internal fluid of the eye, or a combination of the two. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness.

Who gets glaucoma?


Glaucoma is most frequently occurs in individuals over the age of 40 and is hereditary in some families. It is estimated that over 2 million Americans have glaucoma. These numbers are expected to rise as the majority of our population grows older. The most important risk factors include:

• Age Nearsightedness

• Family history of glaucoma

• Previous injuries to the eye

• African ancestry

Will I go blind from glaucoma?


If untreated, glaucoma will damage sight. Elevated pressure within the eye can constrict the blood vessels that nourish the sensitive visual structures in the back of the eye. Because of the reduced blood supply, visual nerve cells die, resulting in some loss of vision. As the condition progresses, more nerve cells are damaged, and the range of vision becomes narrower. If left unchecked, this process can lead to total blindness.

How can I tell if I have glaucoma?


You can't tell if you have glaucoma. The vast majority of cases develop slowly over a period of months or years. In most cases, there are no symptoms. It can gradually destroy your vision without your knowing it. Some people experience vague symptoms - important early warning signs. Symptoms of more advanced glaucoma can include difficulty in adjusting to dark rooms, loss of side vision, and blurred vision. Other symptoms, such as halos or rainbows around lights and severe headaches or pain may occur.

How is glaucoma detected?


By careful examination of the eye by Dr. Toler. The examination includes a simple and painless measurement of pressure in the eye with a tonometer. The doctor will also look into the eye to observe the health of the optic nerve and, if needed measure your field of vision.


How is glaucoma treated?


Glaucoma is usually effectively treated by using eye drops. Sometimes oral medications are used and surgery may be necessary. Dr. Toler is licensed by the board of medicine and trained to prescribe these medications.

Will my vision be restored after being treated?


Unfortunately vision loss as a result of glaucoma is usually permanent and cannot be restored. That is why regular vision examinations are so important.

Can glaucoma be prevented?


No, but early detection and treatment is the best way to reduce the chances of damage to the eye and a loss of sight. If you have a family history of glaucoma you should be examined yearly.



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