There are many forms of glaucoma, and together they are the third major cause of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma is a condition of the eye in which the intraocular pressure exceeds the tolerance of the eye. This often results in irreversible blindness through progressive loss of one’s field of vision. Glaucoma may develop at any age, but is more prevalent in the elderly. Most people with glaucoma are unaware of their problem and experience no symptoms while their vision is slowly and progressively damaged. However, if glaucoma is detected, and the intraocular pressure is reduced, the progression of blindness can be controlled.
Because glaucoma is often without warning signs, early diagnosis through regular exams is essential to preserving your vision. Thorough examinations for glaucoma include the routine measurement of the intraocular pressure, examination of the optic nerve and visual field. Early diagnosis is critical because once the retinal axons of the nerve are damaged, they cannot be restored. The measurement of intraocular pressure alone is not adequate because many patients with glaucoma have normal pressures at various times throughout the day. The most common form of glaucoma is classified as open angle glaucoma, and it does not have any warning signs. It is advised that people over the age of 40 have annual eye exams that include assessments of the optic nerve and retina and of the visual field, in addition to measuring intraocular pressure. In our office, we utilize the most advanced technology including Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) to evaluate nerve fiber and ganglion cell loss, anterior OCT to evaluate anterior anatomy changes, Visual Field testing to evaluate central and peripheral visual field changes and the Ocular Response Analyzer (ORA) to evaluate Corneal Hysteresis, to diagnose and manage glaucoma.
Protect your vision. Call us today at (405) 372-1715 to schedule your appointment and evaluation for glaucoma.
Regardless of the type of glaucoma, the treatment goal is to control the intraocular pressure in an attempt to slow the damage of the optic nerve. Depending upon the type of glaucoma, the treatments usually used consist of medications, laser treatments, or surgical intervention to lower the pressure inside the eye.
Most patients with open angle glaucoma will use eye drops to lower the pressure inside the eye. If the pressure is not controlled with eye drops, it may be necessary to use oral medications. Alternatively, a laser light can be used to enhance drainage of the fluid. In advanced stages of glaucoma, eye surgery may become necessary to preserve vision. The goal of these treatments is to control or to slow down the damage done to the optic nerve.
Currently, there are no treatments that can cure or reverse the course of this eye disease. New treatments are being researched that use a new class of medicine that protects the nerve and offers a better solution. In the meantime, several new medications have been approved by the FDA for reducing the pressure inside the eye. All of our doctors who diagnose and treat glaucoma have undergone training in the management of this disease. Contact us with any questions about glaucoma and about the new treatments available. You may also schedule an appointment for a consultation.
Contact us today at (405) 372-1715.