What is Glaucoma and how is it Diagnosed?
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that damage the nerves that carry signals from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is a gradual loss of vision that usually has no symptoms until the disease eventually takes your sight. It’s the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.
There’s currently no cure for glaucoma, and, once diagnosed, it’s a chronic disease that must be treated for life.
If diagnosed in the early stages, treatment can slow its progress. It’s estimated that there are nearly 65 million suspected case of glaucoma worldwide. The disease is more common in people over 60, diabetics, those who are severely nearsighted and family members of people already diagnosed with glaucoma. The disease is 6 to 8 times more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians, and is the second leading cause of blindness among all Americans.
(source: Glaucoma Research Foundation)
Most new cases are treated with medications in topical or oral form. Most topical medications reduce the eye pressure by helping the fluid to drain from the eye, or by decreasing the amount of fluid that is produced by the eye.
If the medications aren’t working, or in certain initial treatment suggestions, the doctors at Ophthalmic Associates of the Southern Tier may recommend surgery, either by laser or by conventional surgical methods.
Laser surgery for glaucoma can be done on an outpatient basis. The eye is numbed with drops, or may be numbed with an injection of local anesthetic. A special lens is attached to the eye using the laser and the laser then is used to remove tissue. The patient usually feels little or no discomfort, although after treatment, the eye may be irritated and vision may be blurred initially. Normal activities usually can be resumed a day or two after the procedure.
iStent is the world’s smallest medical implant that makes a big impact on those with mild-to moderate open-angle glaucoma. The iStent is 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lens used in your cataract surgery and works to increase the eye’s ability to drain fluid and reduces the pressure in your eye.
In a U.S. clinical study, 68% of glaucoma patients who had the iStent placed remained free of medication at 12 months while maintaining optimal vision versus 50% who underwent cataract surgery alone. To learn more about iStent and to find out if this FDA approved device will enhance the results of your cataract surgery, talk to the eye specialists at Ophthalmic Associates of the Southern Tier today.
Schedule a Glaucoma Treatment Consultation Today
The best step you can take towards better vision is to schedule an appointment with team at Ophthalmic Associates of the Southern Tier today. You’ll get a comprehensive analysis of the severity of your glaucoma along with a plan of action to achieve your desired results. Fill out the form on this page or call (607) 729-5016 to schedule your consultation.