What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and can result in partial to total vision loss. However, with early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against such serious vision loss and blindness
The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers. It connects the retina to the brain. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy optic nerve is necessary for good vision.
At first, open-angle glaucoma does not have any symptoms. There is no pain and for the most part the vision stays normal. Without treatment, those with glaucoma will slowly lose their sight, usually the peripheral vision first. As glaucoma progresses, you may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of your eye.
Eventually, glaucoma can progress to the point of only “tunnel vision” or worse, with some patients with advanced glaucoma progressing to the point that no vision remains. Glaucoma typically occurs in both eyes, though the severity can be asymmetric.
Treatment of Glaucoma
The good news is that glaucoma can be successfully treated if it is identified and diagnosed. By scheduling an appointment for a complete eye exam, Dr. Arey can screen you for the risk factors and exam findings of glaucoma. If glaucoma is suspected or detected, Dr. Arey will then recommend the most appropriate treatment.
Medication, usually in the form of eye drops, is the most common initial treatment for glaucoma. Taken daily, these eye drops lower the eye pressure, either by reducing the production of fluid inside the eye or increasing the drainage of fluid from the eye.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) targets the eye’s trabecular meshwork to increase the drainage of aqueous fluid out of the eye. SLT is a safe and effective office-based procedure that may be used either as a first line treatment or in addition to medication(s) for glaucoma. SLT typically has minimal discomfort either during or after the procedure and is generally covered by medical insurance.
Durysta® is an FDA-approved implant that slowly releases the commonly used glaucoma medication bimatoprost directly inside the eye. The procedure itself is quick and painless and is performed in the office requiring only topical eye drops to numb the eye. Over time the Durysta® implant dissolves and its effectiveness at lowering the eye pressure correspondingly declines.
Dr. Arey is pleased to offer patients undergoing cataract surgery an additional option for treatment of their glaucoma. The iStent inject® is an FDA-approved drainage device placed at the time of cataract surgery for patients with mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma. The iStent inject® procedure is safe and effective and is generally covered by medical insurance.
To learn more about the Eye Conditions we treat, please contact us at 813.284.2323 today to schedule an appointment.
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