Ophthalmology’s Greatest Hits: Treatment of Glaucoma
This installment of ophthalmology’s greatest hits discusses advances in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
- State-of-the art cataract surgery
- Treatment of Macular Degeneration
- Treatment of diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy)
- Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma
- Treatment of dry eyes
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in America, especially in older individuals. Loss of sight is preventable by early detection and treatment.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve by increased pressure within the eye.The optic nerve carries information from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is a silent disease, causing no symptoms for many years. Annual eye exams, especially later in life, are the only way to diagnose the problem.
Anyone can develop glaucoma, though some individuals are at higher risk including: People over 60, African-Americans over 40, individuals with a family history of glaucoma and diabetics.
Once glaucoma is diagnosed, treatment should begin as soon as possible to help minimize the risk of permanent vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma.
Treatment focuses on preventing damage to the optic nerve, thus maintaining eyesight. Tremendous strides in the treatment of glaucoma have occurred over the last 25 years. There are new classes of medicines (in eyedrop form) that are far safer and more effective than previously. Laser procedures for glaucoma are non-invasive, safe and very helpful in preventing worsening of glaucoma. Though not commonly performed, surgery, when necessary is much safer and more effective with the newest techniques.
A comprehensive eye exam should be performed at least annually, especially in individuals at greater risk. Simple and painless testing can make a diagnosis.
July 10, 2016