What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief” of sight because it steals your vision often without warning signs or symptoms. In fact, nearly 2.5 million people have glaucoma, and more than half don’t even realize it. Glaucoma the second leading cause of blindness, is a complicated disease that is caused by increased pressure within the eye which damages the optic nerve. This leads to the development of permanent blind spots in your field of vision. Without routine eye exams to check the health of your eyes, these blind spots can go undetected until the optic nerve is significantly damaged and a great loss of peripheral vision has already occurred.
Who is at Risk for Glaucoma?
Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, there are certain factors that can increase your risk:
- 45 years or older
- Increased eye pressure
- Family history of glaucoma
- Severe nearsightedness
- African American, Hispanic or Asian descent
- History of eye injury causing bleeding in the eye
Glaucoma can only be detected through regular eye exams, so regardless of risk factors, it is essential to schedule regular exams with Anaheim Eye Institute to maintain your field of vision and the overall health of your eyes.
Anaheim Eye Institute will treat Glaucoma in three ways:
- Medicine: Daily eye drops can decrease eye pressure either by slowing the amount of fl uid produced within the eye or by improving the flow through the drainage angle. Glaucoma medications may produce side effects, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual symptoms.
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT): SLT is an excellent new treatment option for glaucoma that is completely painless. By engaging in this laser technology, ophthalmologists can lower pressure and possibly help a patient avoid a more invasive surgery. The surgery may even reduce dependence on medications or drops. Ask the surgeons at Anaheim Eye Institute if SLT is a good option for you.
- Incisional Glaucoma Surgery: Incisional glaucoma surgery is reserved for severe cases of the disease that show progressive optic nerve and peripheral visual field damage that cannot be managed with medicine. Types of this surgery include trabeculectomy or tube shunt procedures.