Treatment and Management of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is one of the most prevalent causes of blindness in adults over the age of 60. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma — but only half are aware of the condition and know they need treatment. Dr. Samer Khosrof of Leading Lasik diagnoses, treats and manages the condition at his full-service Brooklyn ophthalmology practice.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma affects the optic nerve, which links the eye to the brain. The nerve is attached to the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, called the retina, and sends signals from the retina to the brain. The brain then interprets these signals, converting them to images.
Normally, a fluid called aqueous humor circulates inside the eye. The eye has a natural filtration system and continually produces this fluid while an equal amount simultaneously flows out of the eye. Sometimes, the eye fails to drain the liquid properly, and it builds up, putting pressure on the optic nerve and damaging it. This is what leads to glaucoma.
Types of Glaucoma
There are several forms of glaucoma, falling under the categories of “open-angle” glaucoma and “narrow angle” glaucoma. The angle referred to is the meshwork of the eye that controls the drainage of the fluid from the eye.
At least 90 percent of glaucoma cases are open-angle cases. In open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, fluid can access the drainage angle. It develops slowly and can be asymptomatic at first. The drainage canals start to progressively clog and pressure builds inside the eye. Gradually, peripheral vision is reduced and by the time the patient notices it, the glaucoma’s damage is already permanent.
In narrow angle glaucoma, or angle-closure glaucoma, the angle is blocked and the fluid cannot access or flow through it. Narrow angle or angle-closure glaucoma evolves rapidly and usually causes noticeable symptoms such as eye pain, headaches, vision loss, nausea and vomiting. These cases are considered medical emergencies and require immediate intervention to save vision.
Understanding Glaucoma Treatment Options
Glaucoma treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease.
Usually the first line of defense is medicated eye drops; some are designed to reduce the amount of fluid the eye produces and others are designed to help fluid drain from the eye. A detailed medical history and list of current medications are required prior to prescribing eye drops, because the eye drops can interfere with certain drugs.
Another treatment option is a procedure known as laser trabeculoplasty, which improves the fluid drainage to reduce eye pressure. A high-intensity beam of light makes several small burns in the drainage meshwork to stretch out the drainage holes and enable better flow. Laser trabeculoplasty may be performed in conjunction with the use of medicated eye drops.
In some glaucoma cases where eye drops and laser treatment have failed, a conventional surgical procedure called trabeculectomy may be recommended. During a trabeculectomy, a small piece of tissue is removed to create a new drainage channel.
Learn More about the Treatment of Glaucoma
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma and would like to learn more about your treatment options, please contact Leading Lasik today at 718-630-1070 and request a consultation with Dr. Khosrof.
Please fill our appointment form, and one of our team members will contact you to schedule an appointment time.
We offer our patients the latest, most effective and virtually painless procedure with rapid results for your eye care needs .