Did You Know That January Is Glaucoma Awareness Month?
Did you know that glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the US? Glaucoma impairs your vision beyond corrective action.
Many patients with glaucoma use eye drops to treat their intraocular pressure. But others may need to have surgery to help lower this.
Glaucoma surgeries cannot restore vision loss but they may be able to stop the progression of further vision loss due to the condition.
Early-stage glaucoma often has no symptoms. The condition progresses so slowly that many patients never experience symptoms.
They don’t notice the condition until they’ve already lost some of their vision. For many people, by the time they receive a glaucoma diagnosis, it’s already developed in the eye.
The American Association of Ophthalmology observes January as Glaucoma Awareness Month. Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and the various forms of glaucoma treatment that are available!
Glaucoma is the Leading Cause of Blindness in Adults over 40
For many glaucoma patients, the condition is first detected starting at age 40. Many patients never experience any symptoms.
That’s why glaucoma is called the secret thief of sight. You may not notice any symptoms until your vision is already impaired.
Caused by Pressure
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that are a result of pressure buildup in your eye. This buildup occurs around the passageways that circulate the fluid in your eye.
These passageways have meshwork drainage ways that the fluid passes through. When one of the meshworks drains becomes blocked, pressure builds up at the sight of the blockage.
This pressure build-up grows at a slow rate. As it grows, it affects your optic nerve, which is a vital part of how you see.
If glaucoma goes untreated, you can become blind. The best defense you have against vision loss due to glaucoma is an eye exam.
Regularly scheduled eye exams become even more important as you get older. They are the only way to diagnose glaucoma. Early detection of glaucoma can save you from vision loss.
Many glaucoma patients start off treatment using eye drops that aim to lower eye pressure. If this doesn’t work, you may have one of the following procedures:
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)
SLT is a laser procedure to open up the blocked meshwork drainage ways. SLT has few side effects, causes no pain, has no recovery period restrictions, and has minimal complications.
Endoscopic Cyclo-Photocoagulation (ECP)
ECP is a laser treatment that targets the ciliary body. This is the part of your eye located behind the iris.
The laser treatment reduces the amount of fluid that the eye is producing. This lowers the pressure built up in the eye. Many patients benefit from both SLT and ECP procedures.
Laser iridotomy is a laser procedure specifically designed to treat angle-closure glaucoma. This form of glaucoma can progress rapidly.
It can leave patients with sudden and permanent loss of vision. Laser iridotomy reduces the amount of vision lost. It does this by opening up the trabecular meshwork before it closes off.
Trabeculectomy treats patients with advanced glaucoma. It also treats patients that don’t qualify for other laser procedures to treat the condition.
During this surgery, your eye doctor will make an incision in the trabecular meshwork in your eye. This incision reduces the pressure build-up.
This procedure has a high rate of success. Many patients who undergo a trabeculectomy do not need post-surgery eye drop treatment.
The best defense against glaucoma is having regularly scheduled eye exams. Schedule yours today with Pinke Eye Center in Shelton, CT!