Glaucoma is a disease of high pressure in the fluid that fills the eye. The pressure can blow out the optic disk that links the retina, the viewing screen at the back of the eye, to the brain, and this damage can lead to blindness. So it’s important to relieve the pressure before the optic disk gets damaged.
Eyedrops are the first line of defense against most kinds of glaucoma, and if they don’t work, sometimes surgery has to be done to open up the drainage channels.
Misdiagnosis of glaucoma is something that primary care doctors – internists and family practitioners – sometimes are guilty of. Another primary care doctor that can miss glaucoma is the optometrist. (Read more about optometry malpractice at our page on that subject.) Ophthalmologists, who count glaucoma as among the bread-and-butter conditions that they treat, usually are not the ones who fail to miss glaucoma altogether, but ophthalmologists sometimes commit malpractice in the failure to treat the disease with sufficient attention.
One big problem with glaucoma is that it can be a silent killer of vision: the visual damage can percolate so slowly that patients don’t notice any change in their vision until severe and irreversible damage has happened. That is why close monitoring of any patient with glaucoma is important.
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