Glaucoma Treatment Options
Our doctors surgically treat glaucoma in our onsite surgical center. Glaucoma is a slowly progressing disease that often remains undetected until its advanced stages, after permanent damage to vision has already occurred. Although there are many different types of this disease, the medical term generally refers to a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve, often resulting in loss of sight. If left untreated, this can lead to total blindness. Even though the effects of this problem cannot be reversed, the surgeons at our offices perform treatments in order to slow the progression of the disease and to attempt to prevent further damage to vision.
The distinguishing characteristic of this problem is high intraocular pressure (IOP) primarily caused by improper drainage of the fluids known as aqueous humour. The aqueous humour continuously circulates throughout the eyeball and plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the eyeball and maintaining it’s shape.
Most sufferers do not notice significant visual impairment until the disease has reached a more advanced stage. If a patient does recognize early symptoms and seeks qualified medical care, the disease can be contained and its effects minimized. Some of the early warning signs include:
- Ocular pain
- Cloudy vision with halos
- Blurry vision
- Red eyeballs
- Small blind spots in the peripheral vision
- Abdominal pain
Glaucoma is typically treated with eye drops that decrease eye pressure either by slowing the amount of fluid 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.
In order to treat advanced problems, our physicians perform three different surgeries. The type of treatment used depends on the type of ailment the patient has. During the pre-operative consultation, the doctor will determine which operation is most appropriate.
Trabeculoplasty: This procedure is used to treat the most common type of disease in the United States, primary open angle glaucoma, in which the drainage canals of the eye no longer function properly. Using a beam, the doctor creates a new drainage canal, allowing the fluids to effectively drain.
Iridotomy: This type of treatment is utilized primarily on patients with a narrow-angle problem, in which the iris blocks normal fluid drainage. The doctor uses an instrument to create a tiny hole in the iris, effectively restoring normal drainage.
Cyclophotocoagulation: This operation is only used on patients who have failed to respond to other treatments. The physician uses the instrument to ablate part of the ciliary tissue, the cells responsible for the production of fluids, reducing the overall output of fluids.
To learn more about this treatment, cataract operations, PRK, or any other procedures we offer, contact our office and we will perform a thorough examination and discuss appropriate treatments.