Primary open angle glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy of unknown etiology and is one of the leading causes of severe vision loss. Glaucoma causes optic nerve damage, which in turn leads to the progressive loss of vision.
There are several types of glaucoma but two common types are Open-angle glaucoma and Narrow-angle or Closed-angle glaucoma.
This is the most common type of glaucoma. This is typically associated with high eye pressures. There are no symptoms during the early stages of this disease. It can, however be identified during a glaucoma examination. Tests performed include pachymetry, OCT and visual field testing.
This is a much less common type of glaucoma yet causes a disproportionate amount of vision loss. In this type of glaucoma, the angle, the area between your iris and cornea, closes. This is a problem because this is the area where the fluid produced in your eye drains. Symptoms include the sudden onset of severe eye pain and rainbow colored halos around point sources of light. Emergency treatment is necessary and is often performed with a laser.
Treatments for Glaucoma
Once glaucoma has been diagnosed, treatment should begin as soon as possible to help minimize the risk of permanent vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing further damage from occurring. Most cases of glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser surgery or microsurgery.
- Eye drops are used to reduce eye pressure through a variety of mechanisms, but can lead to redness, stinging, irritation or blurry vision. Patients should tell their doctor about any allergies they have to minimize the risk of side effects.
- Laser surgery for glaucoma is designed to either increase the outflow of fluid from the eye using laser trabeculoplasty or iridotomy or reduce fluid production using cyclophotocoagulation.
- Microsurgery involves a surgical procedure called a trabeculectomy, which creates a new channel to drain fluid from the eye and reduce the eye pressure. Surgery is often performed after medication and laser procedures have failed.
Learn About Our Glaucoma Surgery
While there is no way to prevent glaucoma from developing, regular screenings and early detection are the best forms of protection against the harmful damage that the disease can cause.
To learn more about Glaucoma, please call 212.753.6464 today to schedule a consultation.