What to Know About Glaucoma Treatment
An estimate noted on the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s site revealed that over four million Americans suffer from glaucoma, but only half of them are aware they have it. Getting your eyes examined by an eye care expert like one of the optometry specialists in New Jersey associated with the Eyes First Vision Center can diagnose the problem and initiate a vision treatment regimen to help prevent further vision loss or even total blindness.
Complications from Glaucoma
Glaucoma doesn’t always cause symptoms. However, it’s inevitable that vision loss will occur over time. In fact, approximately 120,000 people in the United States are blind from glaucoma. This accounts for nine to 12 percent of all U.S. cases of blindness. The World Health Organization (WHO) declares glaucoma as the second leading cause of blindness in the world. Although the optometrists of Eyes First Vision Centers, serving patients in cities like Bricktown, Matawan, Red Bank, Sea Girt, Hazlet, Middletown, Eatontown, Manchester and Toms River, can’t prevent all cases of blindness caused by glaucoma in the world, they do help patients in New Jersey to prevent blindness.
Glaucoma Prevention Treatments
There’s isn’t a cure for glaucoma, although optometry doctors can stop or slow down the damage the condition causes to the optic nerve. Getting a regular vision exam helps to catch glaucoma early. The earlier the condition is detected and treated the better the prognosis.
The first line of treatment for this eye issue is prescription eye drops. They’re designed to decrease pressure in the eye. They either improve fluid drainage or decrease the amount of fluid produced by the eye. Glaucoma treatment often starts with prescription eye drops. These can help decrease eye pressure by improving how fluid drains from your eye or by decreasing the amount of fluid your eye makes. Prostaglandins increase the outflow of fluid in the eye and reduce pressure in the eye. Beta blockers reduce how much fluid is in the eye by lowering the amount of pressure in the eye. Alpha-adrenergic agonists reduce the production of aqueous humor while increasing the output of fluid from the eyes. Although rarely used for glaucoma, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may reduce the amount fluid produced in the eye. Miotic or cholinergic agents increase the outflow of fluid from the eye.
Oral medications can help decrease eye pressure if eye drops aren’t enough. Laser therapy may be an option for people who have open-angle glaucoma. The optometrist will use a laser beam to open channels that are clogged within the trabecular meshwork. For instance, the optometric surgery specialist may conduct a filtering surgery, a laser procedure that creates an opening in the white of the affected eye. During this procedure, part of the trabecular meshwork may be removed. The eye doctor may insert small drainage tubes into the eye. Electrocautery is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove the trabecular meshwork. It utilizes an electrocautery device known as a Trabectome. Researchers are trying to find new procedures and treatments to help those with glaucoma preserve as much of their vision as possible. The optometrists at Eyes First Vision Centers are always looking for the most innovative procedures to help their patients.
To learn more about glaucoma treatments or to schedule an appointment to discuss your glaucoma treatment options, contact us at Eyes First Vision Centers at 866-393-7347.
Glaucoma FAQs Answered by Our Optometrists
Glaucoma is a frightening word for a condition that can cause blindness — but how much do you really know about its causes, symptoms, and treatments? Here are some frequently asked questions about glaucoma answered by our optometrists here at Eyes First Vision Center.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a broad term applied to a variety of situations in which the optic nerve tissues are destroyed, usually due to excess fluid pressure within the eyes. It is one of the leading causes of blindness, affecting millions of Americans.
What are the Main Types of Glaucoma?
The two main types of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma. In open-angle glaucoma, the fluid constantly produced inside the eye drains too sluggishly through the eye’s drainage angle, elevating eye pressure. In angle-closure glaucoma, the drainage angle closes off completely, causing a sudden spike in pressure.
What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
Open-angle glaucoma may do its damage “silently” for years without showing symptoms. The peripheral vision then starts to fail, followed by central vision. Angle-closure glaucoma produces dramatic, sudden vision loss, headaches, nausea, and eye pain.
Who is at Risk for this Ocular Disorder?
African Americans and Hispanics have a relatively high risk for open-angle glaucoma, while Japanese Americans have an elevated risk for angle-closure glaucoma. Diabetes, family history, and being over 60 are also risk factors for this ocular disorder.
How can Preventative Eye Care Help?
Preventative eye care can catch glaucoma early enough to begin treatment immediately, thus minimizing any further damage and vision loss. An eye exam that includes tonometry (pressure testing) can reveal abnormally high pressure inside the eyes, while vision testing can alert your optometrist to changes in your peripheral vision.
What Treatment Options does Your Eye Doctor Provide?
Any eye doctor on our team can control many cases of glaucoma through topical and sometimes oral) medications. These drugs can reduce fluid production and/or increase drainage rates. If you need additional help getting your glaucoma under control, your optometrist can refer you for a painless laser procedure called a trabeculoplasty, with our team co-managing that procedure for optimal results.
Contact Eyes First Vision Center
Eye First Vision Center is proud to provide glaucoma solutions and eye care services for patients in Toms River, Middletown, Manchester, Manahawkin, Bricktown, Eatontown, Sea Girt, Hazlet, Red Bank and Matawan. If you’re concerned about sparing your eyes from the devastating effects of this progressive disease, call 866-393-7347 to schedule an eye exam. We can answer all your questions, check your eyes for glaucoma, and make any necessary treatment recommendations right then and there!