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Glaucoma Evaluations and Treatments

What is glaucoma?

 

Glaucoma is a complex disorder where the optic nerve (the cable carrying all the information from our eye back to our brain) is damaged over time, usually from having elevated eye pressure. Damage to the optic nerve results in vision loss, usually peripheral vision loss at first, but over time without treatment glaucoma can lead to blindness. 

 

Who is at risk of developing glaucoma?

 

Risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Increasing age

  • Being male

  • Having a family history

  • African Americans 

  • Being near-sighted

  • Having low blood pressure (hypotension) 

  • Eye conditions such as pigmentary dispersion syndrome and pseudoexfoliation

  • Medical conditions such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

  • Medication use, especially steroids

 

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

 

At Southtowns Eye Center we have all the necessary technology and skill to accurately establish your risk of developing glaucoma or the risk of your glaucoma worsening. Your initial consult will consist of measuring your eye pressure and corneal thickness, assessing for optic nerve damage with a dilated eye exam and optic nerve measurements, checking for current areas of vision loss with a visual field test, and assessing the drainage system of the eye using gonioscopy.  Combining all of these factors provides our doctors with the necessary information to create a personalized care plan for each patient to lower their risk of having irreversible vision loss from glaucoma. 


 

How is glaucoma managed?

 

Every patient will have a personalized plan to help control their glaucoma. This plan will include regular monitoring with exams at least twice a year to check the eye pressure as well as testing including visual field monitoring, and optic nerve pictures and measurements. 

 

The mainstay  of treatment is using eye drops every day.  Some patients may require one eye drop used daily and some patients may use multiple drops daily. Other methods of treatment include a laser procedure  (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty or SLT)  done in our office to help reduce the eye pressure and some patients require glaucoma surgery to maintain adequate control of their eye pressure. We also offer combined glaucoma surgery at the time of cataract surgery to help reduce the number of drops patients take.
 

At Southtowns Eye Center we have the capability to treat and prevent other less common types of glaucoma such as pseudoexfoliative glaucoma, pigmentary dispersion glaucoma and acute angle closure glaucoma with our in-office laser machine. 

 

Schedule an appointment today for a complete evaluation.