Glaucoma causes vision loss and eventual blindness by damaging the optic nerve at the back of your eye. Our knowledgeable optometrists Mital Patel, OD, Mark Machen, OD, and Ashley Swalla, OD at Classic Vision Care help patients prevent and/or manage glaucoma and other eye diseases through regular screening and early treatment at our offices in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia.

Patients most at risk

According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for glaucoma include people:

  • Over 60 years of age
  • Black, Asian, or Hispanic
  • Suffering from heart disease, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and high blood pressure
  • With a family history of glaucoma

Taking corticosteroid eye drops, experiencing extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness, or possessing thin central corneas also present a higher risk for glaucoma. We monitor patients to stay ahead of any issues that may arise.

Signs of glaucoma

Chronic glaucoma often attacks your vision without leaving any telltale signs. This makes it especially difficult to diagnose without thorough eye exams. We perform dilated eye exams to check for signs of internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure). According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, increased pressure often indicates glaucoma. However, they also note that patients within a normal range of intraocular pressure may develop glaucoma. Fortunately, when managed early, most people can save their sight.

Be aware of such symptoms as:

  • Patchy blind spots
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos surrounding lights
  • Severe headaches
  • Eye pain

Should you notice any of these, contact Dr. Patel and our team to evaluate you further.

Diagnosing glaucoma

We perform multiple tests to diagnose glaucoma, including:


Dilating your eyes, we widen your pupils to examine your optic nerve for any problems.


We shine a light into different regions of your peripheral vision as you follow it with your eyes to detect vision changes over time.


Numbing your eyes with drops, we determine if the angle between your iris and cornea is narrow and closed or open and wide. This allows us to pinpoint the type of glaucoma you may possess.

We use these tests, as well as tonometry, which measures eye pressure using a small puff of air, and pachymetry, which judges corneal thickness, to diagnose glaucoma and other eye issues.

Treating glaucoma

Should we detect glaucoma, we’ve got a variety of ways to treat it, depending upon its severity.

Eye drops

One of the most common treatments for glaucoma is prescription eye drops to lower eye pressure. These either help fluid drain from your eyes or reduce the amount of fluid your eyes produce.

Laser treatments

Lasers help remove fluid from your eyes.


Should medicated drops fail to help, we refer you to an ophthalmologist to potentially perform surgery and shield your vision from further damage.

Protect your eyes naturally

The best thing you can do is safeguard your eyes through timely check-ups, moderate exercise, and protective eyewear. We also suggest several holistic measures to keep your eyes and body healthy, such as:

Maintain a healthy weight

A high Body Mass Index (BMI) puts more pressure on your eyes. Being too skinny can hurt, as well, since low BMI may also trigger a form of glaucoma.

Keep blood sugar on target

Studies show insulin resistance can cause higher eye pressure, a factor for glaucoma.

Eat plenty of greens

Green leafy vegetables contain nitrate, which your body converts to nitric oxide. This helps regulate blood flow and eye pressure.

Brush your teeth regularly

Periodontal disease and tooth loss have been associated with glaucoma, possibly due to increased inflammation.

Reduce your risk of glaucoma today

Nearly 3 million Americans currently suffer from glaucoma. It’s the leading cause of blindness, next to cataracts, across the globe.

Your first line of defense is regular check-ups. Visit us even more often if you have a family history of glaucoma. If you notice visual problems that don’t improve with eyeglasses, or wish to schedule a routine exam, contact our knowledgeable team at Classic Vision Care. Call us or book an appointment online today.


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