What is Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it. Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve.
There is no cure for glaucoma—yet. However, medication usually can slow or prevent further vision loss. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.
Eyes On Main has recently acquired the latest technology for the detection and monitoring the success of treatment of Glaucoma.
The instrument is called the OCT, and is manufactured by Optovue.
Using retinal scanning laser technology called ocular coherence tomography technology; the OCT has the ability to measure the actual amount of nerve tissue still present in the retina. The Optovue OCT has become the gold standard scanning device for glaucoma and offers proven reproducibility for diagnosis & follow ups. The Optovue can detect small changes in glaucoma damage making it possible for us to better change treatment options when necessary to protect and save sight.
Types Of Glaucoma
Open Angle Glaucoma
This is the most common form of glaucoma, affecting about three million Americans. It happens when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time. The inner eye pressure rises because the correct amount of fluid can’t drain out of the eye. With open angle glaucoma, the entrances to the drainage canals are clear and should be working correctly. The clogging problem occurs further inside the drainage canals, similar to a clogged pipe below the drain in a sink.
Most people have no symptoms and no early warning signs. If open angle glaucoma is not diagnosed and treated, it can cause a gradual loss of vision. This type of glaucoma develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years. It usually responds well to medication, especially if caught early and treated.
Normal Tension Glaucoma
Normal tension glaucoma is also known as low-tension glaucoma or normal pressure glaucoma. In this type of glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged even though intraocular pressure (IOP) is not very high. Doctors do not know why some people’s optic nerves suffer damage even though pressure levels are in the “normal” range (between 12-22 mm Hg).
Those at higher risk for this form of glaucoma are people with a family history of normal tension glaucoma, people of Japanese ancestry, and people with a history of systemic heart disease, such as irregular heart rhythm. Normal tension glaucoma is usually detected after an examination of the optic nerve.
For the vast majority of our patients I prescribe a single eye drop that is placed in the affected eye prior to going to bed. The benefit of this drop is that there is a minimal amount of side effects..... that being eye lash growth and darkening of the iris. Occasionally an additional drop is required to meet the desired reduction of eye pressure. In rare instances where drops are not sufficient to stop vision loss, then surgical intervention may be required.