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Glaucoma is the leading cause of permanent blindness in the United States, and it is estimated to affect nearly one in every 50 adults. Glaucoma is often called the "silent bandit of vision" because in most cases vision loss appears gradually, unnoticed by the patient until it has become severe. It is caused by too much pressure on the inside of the eye. Fluid in your eyes helps to nourish and cleanse the inside of your eyes by constantly flowing in and out. When the fluid is prevented from flowing out, the intraocular pressure builds and damages the optic nerve. This causes a gradual loss in peripheral vision. Fortunately, with today’s technology and early detection, loss of sight due to most cases of glaucoma can be controlled.

Select Eye Care’s physicians utilize new, advanced procedures for the treatment of glaucoma. Because glaucoma is a silent, progressive disease, it is crucial to manage and protect against loss of vision. Schedule your appointment today.

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Learn more about glaucoma

Early Warning Signs

Because most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain, it is important to have regular, routine eye exams so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before long-term visual loss occurs.

Some of the early warning signs include:

  • Ocular pain
  • Cloudy vision with halos
  • Blurry vision
  • Red eyeballs
  • Small blind spots in the peripheral vision
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

A clear, watery fluid called the aqueous fluid is a filtrate of blood, which fills the chambers of the eye. This is a source of nourishment because it eliminates waste and cleans the eye. The process of the aqueous fluid flowing in and out creates a pressure that is called the intraocular pressure and the inflow versus the outflow of aqueous fluid is measured. When people have glaucoma, the inflow and outflow of this pressure is not working properly and can be categorized as open angle glaucoma or closed angle glaucoma. With open angle glaucoma, peripheral vision tends to be affected first and if not treated, it can result in a loss of vision.

Types of Glaucoma

Glaucoma-DiagramThere are two types of glaucoma:

Open-angle glaucoma: This is the most common type of glaucoma. The structures of the eye appear normal, but fluid in the eye does not flow properly through the drain of the eye, called the trabecular meshwork.

Angle-closure glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is less common, but can cause a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye. Drainage may be poor because the angle between the iris and the cornea (where a drainage channel for the eye is located) is too narrow. Or, the pupil opens too wide, narrowing the angle and blocking the flow of the fluid through that channel. The fluid accumulates and forces the iris to obstruct the trabecular meshwork. When this happens, the function of meshwork fails to respond to the aqueous fluid and this leads to an increase of pressure. Scars can form causing an irreversible block in the aqueous outflow. Vision can be lost.

Select Eye Care's Glaucoma Services and Treatment Options

A routine eye exam is the best way to protect yourself from glaucoma because symptoms usually do not appear until vision has been affected. An early diagnosis can help stop the progression of this eye condition and there are treatments available. 

For many years drop therapy and invasive surgical intervention (trabeculectomy) were the only forms of treatment a patient was offered after being diagnosed with glaucoma. Today, the physicians at Select Eye Care make the most of breakthrough technology to give patients better, safer treatment options. Discover the advancements in treatment that Select Eye Care can offer: 

Selective Laser Trabeculaplasty (SLT) 

A clinically proven, safe and effective laser treatment to reduce intraocular pressure and allow the majority of patients to stop the use of glaucoma medications, thus eliminating side effects and monthly costs. The treatment is one time and takes only minutes, however, it may be repeated in the future if necessary. SLT is a medical procedure and covered under most insurance plans.

Endoscopic cyclo photocoagulation (ECP) 

A procedure performed in conjunction with cataract surgery to eliminate the need for glaucoma drops. A small probe containing a camera and laser is inserted into the eye through an existing cataract incision. The laser destroys the cells that create fluid in the eye, thus lowering intraocular pressure. This procedure significantly reduces the need for glaucoma drops in most patients.

Canaloplasty 

An innovative, non-penetrating approach for patients who aren’t ready for surgery. This procedure allows fluid to flow through the natural drainage canals of the eye. A catheter is placed in the existing natural drainage canal and cleans out the poorly functioning drain. As the catheter is removed, a solution is placed to create space within the drain to keep the drain open. This is an excellent safe alternative to trabeculectomy – an invasive surgery where a hole is created in the sclera (white part of the eye) to reroute eye fluid which, can not only have numerous side effects, but can have a 10% failure rate, thereby requiring further treatment.

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