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Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that entails increased intraocular pressure. Aqueous humor fluid blocks the eye’s channel. The intraocular pressure increases and can damage the optic nerve. Left untreated, glaucoma can result in gradual, permanent blindness. There are two types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common, and the fluid in the eye doesn’t properly drain. Angle-closure glaucoma results in poor drainage due to the angle between the cornea and the iris. The space is just too narrow for proper drainage. The risk factors for glaucoma include heredity, age 40+, diabetes, and steroid medications. Being of African-American, Russian and Hispanic descent are also risk factors.
The symptoms of glaucoma may include eye pain, seeing halos around lights, tunnel vision and vision loss. For most people, the symptoms are either non-existent or few. That’s why it’s important to have a regular eye exam once a year if you’re in a risk category. Early detection and treatment are the keys to success.
To diagnose glaucoma, our Wauchula, Arcadia and Sebring optometrists test your vision and examine your eyes through dilated pupils. A tonometry test is performed to measure intraocular pressure. Images are also taken to track the progression of the disease. All of these tests are painless and take just a few minutes.
Our Wauchula, Arcadia and Sebring eye clinics offer treatment for glaucoma. Your treatment plan may include prescription eye drops, laser surgery or microsurgery. Sometimes, glaucoma eye drops can increase the outflow of built-up fluid or reduce the formation of fluid. Laser surgery for angle-closure glaucoma can eliminate blockage. Laser surgery for open-angle glaucoma can increase the outflow of fluid. Laser surgery may include different procedures, such as a trabeculoplasty, iridotomy or cyclophotocoagulation. In a trabeculoplasty, the trabaecular meshwork is pulled open. In an iridotomy, a small hole is made in the iris for the flow of fluid. The laser beam in a cyclophotocoagulation treats areas of the middle eye to reduce fluid. Microsurgery can reduce intraocular pressure, but it sometimes fails and needs to be redone.
For some patients suffering from glaucoma, a glaucoma implant may be a good option. While prescription eye drops are typically the first line of treatment for glaucoma, those with congenital glaucoma are primarily treated with surgery because congenital glaucoma presents with a very distorted ocular drainage system.
Being diagnosed with glaucoma can be overwhelming and quite frightening. At Sevigny Associates Eye Care, we’re here to help. From diagnosis and treatment to glaucoma disease management, we work closely with our patients every step of the way. If you’re at risk for glaucoma or have noticed some changes in your vision, give us a call at Sevigny Associates Eye Care to schedule an appointment.