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March 13, 2019
A common in-office procedure is an eye injection for treatment of various eye conditions, such as wet macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or vein occlusion.   It is normal to be anxious...

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Glaucoma, often referred to as “the silent thief of sight”, can occur with no warning signs, pain or symptoms. It affects 3 million people in the United States and has caused blindness in over 120,000 people. Glaucoma cannot be cured, but if detected early can be managed to limit its effects.

Glaucoma usually occurs when there is an increase of pressure within your eye, but can occur with normal eye pressure as well. This pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, which is the weakest part of your eye, leading to decreased peripheral vision and possibly blindness.

Your eye is divided into two chambers, the anterior chamber at the front of the eye, and the posterior chamber at the back. A fluid, called the aqueous humor, is produced by the cilliary body and circulates between the two chambers to clean and nourish your eye. Once it reaches the edge of your iris it leaves the eye through an opening called the trabecular meshwork.

With glaucoma, more fluid is produced than can be removed, which leads to an increase in pressure in the anterior chamber. Eventually the pressure throughout your eye increases, exerting force on the neural fibers of your optic nerve. Over time this causes damage to the optic nerve, which leads to partial or total vision loss.

There are a number of risk factors for glaucoma including age, ethnicity, family history, and certain medical disorders such as diabetes. If you are at a higher risk for glaucoma be sure and consult with your eye care provider regularly to increase your chance of early detection.

The vitreous is a sac of jelly like substance that fills the eye, and gives it its shape. It is located behind the lens, and is attached to the retina.

As we get older, the vitreous shrinks in size causing it to tug on the retina. As a result, small clumps or particles may appear in the vitreous. Because they are suspended in this jelly like fluid, they often hang suspended and don’t float downward.

As light passes through the pupil and back onto the retina, some of the floaters may be located in this light path. If the light hits a floater, it will form a shadow on the back of the retina and may appear to you as a spot or bug moving around in your field of vision.

Sometimes when the shrinking vitreous tugs on the retina, it may cause you to see a flash of light. However, in rare instances, the retina may even tear from this tugging action causing a flash of light as well. This can be a serious condition which requires immediate attention.

For the most part, floaters and flashes are just an annoyance, but they can be signs of serious conditions such as retinal detachment. If you notice a sudden increase in the amount of floaters and flashes you see, consult your eye care provider immediately.

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optometrist, eye doctor, South Portland, ME

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743 Broadway
South Portland, ME 04106
Phone: (207) 799-3031

Mon. - Fri.: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Sat. & Sun.: CLOSED

Latest News

March 13, 2019
A common in-office procedure is an eye injection for treatment of various eye conditions, such as wet macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or vein occlusion.   It is normal to be anxious...