Optic nerve


Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. Left untreated, it can eventually lead to blindness.

Early diagnosis and treatment are essential. At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, our experienced doctors have treated thousands of glaucoma patients.

Effective glaucoma treatment can save your vision...

Optic nerve

Your Symptoms Can Indicate  Which Type of Glaucoma You Have

Peripheral Vision Loss

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is typically associated with a gradual impairment of your peripheral vision. This occurs when the fluid in the eye is partially blocked.

Sudden Onset of Symptoms

Acute angle-closure glaucoma (AACG) occurs when drainage is completely cut off, resulting in a sudden onset of symptoms. This can include eye pain, headaches, halos, and nausea.

Vision Loss with Normal IOP

Normal-tension glaucoma is characterized by vision loss resulting from damage to the optic nerve. However, in these cases, the intraocular pressure (IOP) will remain normal.

What happens in the eye when you have glaucoma?

Glaucoma illustration Glaucoma illustration

 If the intraocular fluid cannot drain properly, the pressure within the eye will build up and cause damage to important structures. This will impact your vision quality over time.

Who is most likely to develop glaucoma?

Genetics, Age & Other Factors Can Increase Your Risk

Generally, the risk factors for glaucoma are out of your control and include:

  • Age: patients over 40 are at a higher risk
  • Nearsightedness or farsightedness 
  • Having thin corneas
  • Experiencing eye trauma
  • Suffering from diabetes, migraines, or poor blood circulation
  • A family history of glaucoma 

Additionally, ethnicity plays a significant role. Hispanic patients are at a higher risk and African Americans are three to four times more likely to suffer from glaucoma than non-Hispanic white patients.

How does glaucoma cause vision loss?

Pressure on the Optic Nerve  Causes Permanent Damage

Increased IOP

Regular fluid drainage maintains a stable IOP within your eye. When the fluid in the eye cannot drain properly due to blockage, it causes the IOP to rise. If the IOP becomes abnormally high, it can damage the optic nerve.

Deterioration of the Nerve 

Dangerous levels of IOP gradually destroy the fibers that make up the optic nerve. This begins to affect your vision, creating blind spots. Typically, this is not noticeable until the problem has become severe.

Is there a positive outlook for glaucoma treatment?

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

A Simple Exam & Basic Tools

Diagnosing glaucoma is fairly straightforward. You will need to see an eye doctor for a quick, virtually painless eye exam to check your IOP which typically lasts about five minutes. This test is performed using a tonometer which measures the pressure within the eye. Based on your IOP levels and other symptoms, your doctor can determine whether you suffer from glaucoma and which type.
Woman undergoing slit lamp exam

Is there any way to prevent glaucoma?

A Healthy Lifestyle Is Essential

Avoid Smoking

An association between smoking tobacco and glaucoma has been found, especially for heavy smokers. If you smoke, it is highly recommended that you quit. 

Stay Physically Fit

Maintaining good cardiovascular fitness can help stabilize intraocular pressure and protect your overall ocular health.

Undergo Regular Exams

Most patients should undergo an eye exam every two years. However, if you are older or at a higher risk for serious conditions, you may need to visit an ophthalmologist more frequently.​

In addition to treatment, there are other ways to improve your quality of life...

Resources Are Available

“Low vision services are a valuable resource, able to offer advice and equipment, which may help prolong safe mobility and maintain independent living.” Andrew J Tatham, FRCSEd, FRCOphth, FEBO, Consultant ophthalmic surgeon

Laser Surgery Is a  Common Treatment

Laser surgery is a common treatment for intermediate glaucoma. This procedure can open the drainage route or create a new one to allow fluid to more efficiently exit the eye. For many patients, this can help lower IOP. However, the best treatment for you will depend on the stage of your condition. Non-invasive and other surgical procedures are also available.

More Information on  Detecting & Managing Glaucoma

Have you noticed deterioration in your eyesight? While you might be thinking that your vision is worsening due to age, this may not be the case. At Deen-Gross Eye Centers, we have treated thousands of patients who believe their vision is worsening as they get older, when in reality they suffer from glaucoma. The eye specialists at our Merrillville and Hobart, Indiana medical facilities believe in the power of early diagnosis and customized treatments, as those are two huge components in saving your eyesight.

A Leading Cause of Blindness

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. This serious eye condition is extremely hard for a patient to detect as there aren't many obvious warning signs or symptoms. Often, patients don't realize they suffer from an eye condition until their vision worsens. If glaucoma isn't detected early enough, it can cause irreversible damage to your vision and overall health.

Glaucoma is a combination of multiple eye conditions that result in optic nerve damage. The conditions stem from intraocular pressure, abnormally high pressure inside your eye. The pressure is created from the buildup of fluid that is naturally produced in the front of your eye. When drainage system that the fluid usually passes through is blocked, damaged, or doesn't function properly, the fluid builds up within your optical sphere.

Treatment Options

While a patient can't be completely cured of glaucoma, our doctors provide treatments that are effective at preventing further vision loss and regulating the amount of fluid that is produced in the eye cavity. Treatments can reduce the production of fluid, improve the amount of outflow of fluid, or regulate both. Once a patient has experienced vision loss due to glaucoma, irreversible damage has occurred, so treatment can only prevent further damage from taking place. Glaucoma treatment methods that our vision care professionals in Merrillville and Hobart, Indiana use to slow down the rapid progression of glaucoma include:

  • Medical management
  • Laser surgeries
  • Filtration surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

Depending on the extent of your condition and your medical history, our glaucoma specialists will determine an effective course of treatment to prevent further vision loss. Surgical procedures are usually recommended as a last resort, as our team tries to correct your conditions in the most minimally invasive way available.

Deen-Gross Eye Center team

Deen-Gross Eye Centers

At Deen-Gross Eye Centers in Merrillville and Hobart, IN, we provide advanced solutions in a range of specialties. Using the latest technologies and techniques, Dr. David Gross, Dr. Jeffrey Nelson, and Dr. Jamie Taffora can truly transform your vision. Our doctors are affiliated with several notable organizations, including:

  • The Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • The American Osteopathic Association
  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The Indiana State Medical Association

We are available 24/7 to treat emergencies. To get in touch with us, you can request a consultation online or call (219) 769-8989.

Contact Us

"After wearing glasses my entire life, Dr. Gross corrected my eyesight to better than 20/20 vision." Richard B - St. John, IN

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