Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly population in the United States. Glaucoma occurs when pressure builds in the eye. A liquid called aqueous humor constantly flows through the eye and through a drainage system. When the drainage system becomes blocked, aqueous humor builds up and puts pressure on the optic nerve. If too much pressure builds on the optic nerve, vision loss can occur.
Closed-angle glaucoma is less prevalent, but is considered a real eye emergency. This type of glaucoma occurs when a patient’s pupil moves or dilates and actually blocks off the drainage angles in the eye. This is considered a medical emergency in which an ophthalmologist should be contacted immediately to avoid any loss of vision.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of glaucoma, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule a consultation.
There are a wide range of treatments for the disease, including medication, laser surgery and traditional surgery. The treatment (or combination of treatments) for an individual is chosen based upon the type of glaucoma and other details of the particular case. One option is medication such as prescription eye drops which help to reduce intraocular pressure, or pills called carbonic anhydrase inhibitors which slow down fluid production within the eye.
Laser surgery has also become a common treatment option for glaucoma. For open-angle glaucoma the doctor may choose a trabeculoplasty, a painless laser procedure which uses light to shrink and stretch eye tissue to allow more drainage of fluid. For closed-angle cases, in which the iris is blocking drainage of aqueous humor, a laser surgery called iridotomy may be preformed.
Other glaucoma treatment options involve various traditional surgeries. A common surgery for open-angle glaucoma is the trabeculectomy, where a doctor creates a small flap in the sclera (white part of the eye). Underneath the surface of the sclera, the doctor creates a small reservoir, called a filtration bleb, into which aqueous fluid may drain and then be disbursed, further reducing intraocular pressure.
Tallman Eye Associates strives for excellence in Ophthalmology and Laser Vision Correction. Because we offer procedures that cover so many aspects of eye care we thought you might be interested in hearing the experiences of our patients.