Glaucoma SurgeryGlaucoma Surgery
What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is a broad term used to describe a progressive disease that can damage the optic nerve and leads to total blindness. Glaucoma can be divided into two types, open angle and closed angle. Open angle, the most common, is a slow insidious, painless disease that initially damages the peripheral vision, but can ultimately affect the central vision. Closed angle glaucoma can be very rapid and painful. A close thorough examination of the intraocular pressure as well as the anterior and posterior aspects of the eye can lead to the diagnosis of glaucoma. Several ancillary tests including Automated Visual Field Testing and Optic Nerve Imagery Studies can be used to confirm the diagnosis. If diagnosed with glaucoma, Dr. Carey T. Rowan can treat you with medication (eye drops), painless laser and/or sometimes surgery. Because glaucoma causes no early symptoms or pain, the disease is not detectable unless examined by an ophthalmologist. Dr. Rowan recommends annual eye exams for early glaucoma protection. If caught early, glaucoma can be treated and can prevent damage.
Risks for Glaucoma:
- Family history of glaucoma
- African American, Hispanic, Russian, Japanese
Treatment for Glaucoma Eye drops are the first route in treating glaucoma. These medications either reduce the formation of aqueous fluid in the eye or increase the outflow of the fluid. For most, these medications are very effective and no other treatment is required. For those who do not respond to eye medications, laser surgery is often the next step in treating glaucoma. For open angle glaucoma, laser excites the trabecular meshwork allowing better flow of aqueous fluid. Another type of laser surgery is used for closed angle glaucoma. This laser penetrates the iris, the colored part of the eye, making small holes, which allow an increased flow of fluid and reduces pressure on the optic nerve. Microsurgery is also available to treat glaucoma. Microsurgery allows the physician to form a new drainage channel in the eye to allow proper drainage of the aqueous fluid, thereby reducing intraocular pressures. This surgery is usually reserved for patients with advanced glaucoma; however, many patients are deciding to proceed at earlier stages of glaucoma to treat the disease more aggressively and prevent future deterioration of vision.