Learn How a Pituitary Tumor is Diagnosed and Treated

The words pituitary tumors displayed on a screen next to a stethoscope

Did you know that regular eye exams, even if you do not wear glasses or contacts, can help discover eye conditions like a pituitary tumor (adenoma) before you even start to have symptoms? While many people only visit their eye doctor when they are experiencing vision problems, an annual eye exam could save your eyesight for the future.

Here at Campus Eye Center, we encourage everyone to see your optometrist or ophthalmologist annually. If you are in the Lancaster, Pa. area, we are here to help with annual exams, sudden vision problems, or eye disease management. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to see one of our experienced doctors.

Have questions about a pituitary tumor? Continue reading to learn more about what a pituitary tumor is and how your eye care professional will diagnose and treat it if found.

What is a Pituitary Adenoma?

A pituitary tumor, or pituitary adenoma, is an abnormal growth that affects that pituitary gland. This gland, which is part of the endocrine system, sits behind your nasal cavity at the base of the brain and controls several organs and bodily functions through hormone levels.

Pituitary adenomas are often benign, but they can still cause trouble for the pituitary gland. A pituitary tumor can cause havoc on your body by causing it to secrete too much or too little of the hormones it regulates. A pituitary adenoma may also pinch or compress the optic nerves associated with sight, causing some vision loss or total blindness.

Common Vision Symptoms of a Pituitary Tumor

General symptoms of a pituitary tumor include intense headaches in the forehead region, mood swings and depression, change in weight, and nausea or vomiting. When a pituitary tumor pinches or compresses the optic nerve, the visual symptoms of a pituitary tumor include double vision, loss of vision, and drooping eyelids.

A pituitary tumor may push on and limit the connection of several other nerves that affect your eye health. Because of this, you may also experience muscle weakness or crossed eyes.

Even though we are focusing on the eye-related symptoms of a pituitary tumor in this blog article, it is essential to schedule an eye exam or doctor visit if you are experiencing any symptoms of a pituitary tumor.

How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam?

As we discussed earlier, you should get an eye exam every year—more often if you are having vision or eye health problems. At Campus Eye Center, we like to keep our patients in the loop with their diagnoses and treatment options, and that includes the scheduling of appointments. However, we only ever suggest a schedule of appointments or exams that fit your lifestyle and eye health needs.

If you are having any symptoms of a pituitary tumor or other vision problems, err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment right away instead of waiting until your next yearly exam. Being proactive with annual exams, and reactive when vision problems begin to appear, can help save your vision now and in the future.

What is Your Doctor Looking for in an Exam?

At Campus Eye Center, our comprehensive eye exam includes a complete vision test, evaluation for eyeglasses or contact lenses, glaucoma screening, and pupil dilation to check for eye diseases. Many of these routine tests help our doctors assess for and find eye diseases and complications from problems like pituitary tumors.

However, if there is any concern you may have a pituitary tumor your eye care professional may include other tests that look for specific abnormalities in eye movement or pupil dilation. As a result, your doctor will potentially order blood work to test for abnormal hormone levels. If your eye care professional feels that you have a pituitary tumor, they may also request an MRI to gauge the size of the tumor and the level of impairment it is causing.

Treatment Options for Pituitary Adenomas

Once your eye doctor has determined that you have a pituitary adenoma, they will discuss your treatment options. For many, a pituitary adenoma may present itself without symptoms and may exist without any vision or health problems.

For others, a pituitary tumor may railroad the body’s hormone levels, cause vision loss, or other life-changing symptoms. In this case, your eye doctor may recommend chemo, radiation, surgery, or a combination of treatment options.

If your blood work shows changes in hormone levels from a pituitary tumor, your eye care professional may refer you to your primary care doctor or an endocrinologist for other treatment options.

Schedule an Eye Exam at Campus Eye Center Today!

Here at Campus Eye Center in Lancaster, Pa., we care about the quality of life our patients have and aim only to provide the highest quality of care to ensure the best eye health possible. Schedule an appointment today to see one of our experienced doctors and let us help you protect, preserve, and improve your vision.