Prevent Vision Loss with Glaucoma Treatment
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes increased internal pressure in the eye, leading to damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma often goes undiagnosed until it has caused permanent vision loss, which is why it is important to undergo regular eye exams, especially if you are over the age of 60. If left untreated, these diseases will cause gradual vision loss, eventually leading to total blindness. While there is no cure for glaucoma, your Philadelphia ophthalmologists offer a number of treatment options to control the condition and protect your vision. To learn more about your treatment options, or to schedule your eye exam and glaucoma screening, contact our office today.
What Is Glaucoma?
Your eye is filled with fluid consisting of protein and water. Normally, this fluid leaves your eye at the angle where the iris and cornea meet. When this fluid cannot drain, pressure builds and can damage the optic nerve. You should note, however, that not everyone with increased pressure develops glaucoma. There are two primary types of glaucoma:
- Open-angle glaucoma: The drainage angel at the iris and cornea is open but the channels are blocked, and fluid is not able to leave your eye quickly enough. This is the most common form of glaucoma, and usually affects patients age 60 and above.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: If your iris changes shape, it may protrude forward and block the drainage channel. This type of glaucoma often affects patients 40 and above, and can develop quickly.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Both open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss, though they have different symptoms. The symptoms of open-angle glaucoma typically include tunnel vision and gradual vision loss, starting with the peripheral vision. Angle-closure glaucoma can result in eye pain, red eyes, halos, nausea, blurred vision, and sudden changes in vision. If you experience the symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma, you should seek emergency treatment immediately.
Dr. Jon Peet and Dr. Francis Clark, provide comprehensive care for glaucoma patients. If your open-angle glaucoma is detected early on, your doctor may be able to treat it using eye drops. There are many types of eye drops and all are designed to reduce the pressure in your eye by decreasing fluid production or increasing fluid outflow. Surgical options include:
- Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT): Opens up drainage channels, using a low-level laser, which does not affect surrounding cells or leave any scar tissue. You can undergo multiple SLT procedures during your life.
- Argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT): Also opens up drainage channels, and successfully lowers eye pressure in 75% of open-angle glaucoma patients.
- Peripheral iridotomy: This emergency surgery is suitable for closed-angle glaucoma patients only. Using a highly precise laser, your ophthalmologist will create a tiny hole in your iris to allow fluid to exit your eye.
- MicroPulse P3 Cyclophotocoagulation: Useful for patients with refractory glaucoma, this minimally invasive glaucoma laser surgery utilizes a slow application of laser energy that changes the eye tissue than destroy it.
- iStent: For patients with both glaucoma and cataracts, the iStent is implanted in the internal eye area to re-establish a normal flow of fluids within the eye. Learn more about the iStent.
Contact Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons, PC
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you should seek treatment right away to prevent permanent vision loss. Call us today to schedule your appointment and learn how our expertise can help you.