What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a very serious condition that is marked by an excess build-up of pressure on the inside of a patient’s eye. Also commonly referred to as intraocular pressure, glaucoma can easily damage a person’s optic nerve if left unchecked for a long period of time. In addition to visual impairment, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. Statistically speaking, it is actually the second leading cause of blindness among United States citizens.
Often, glaucoma is referred to as “the silent thief of sight” because very few symptoms are present until damage to the optic nerve results in noticeable vision loss. Therefore, it is crucial that you go for regular glaucoma screenings at least once every two years once you reach the age of 40.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two primary types of glaucoma:
- Primary open-angle glaucoma – This is the most common form of glaucoma. It occurs when fluid in the eye does not flow properly through the eye’s drainage channel.
- Acute angle-closure glaucoma – This condition causes a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye. It occurs when drainage is impacted by the angle between the iris and cornea being too narrow, or when the pupil opens too wide, preventing fluid from flowing through the drainage channel.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
People suffering from the effects of glaucoma should watch out for a number of different warning signs, including but not limited to things like the following:
•The gradual loss of vision, starting with peripheral vision
•Severe pain in and around a person’s eye
•Redness of the eye
•Tunnel vision and more
Generally, you will not experience any symptoms until your condition has become serious enough to impact your vision. This is particularly true in cases of primary open-angle glaucoma.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist immediately. By delaying treatment, you risk permanent eye damage.
Treatment for Glaucoma
As an Edison ophthalmologist, Dr. Patel is dedicated to addressing the specific circumstances of each patient and recommending the form of treatment that will provide the deepest level of care for the person involved. Dr. Patel and his dedicated team of professionals use a variety of different techniques to address the issues present with glaucoma patients, including things like the following:
One of the primary forms of treatment that Dr. Patel is experienced with is called selective laser trabeculoplasty, which is a type of laser surgery that is specifically used to lower the intraocular pressure in the affected eye. Selective laser trabeculoplasty is an ideal course of action when standard eye drop medications are not effectively lowering eye pressure (as is common in more advanced cases), or when other forms of treatment are producing side effects that the patient no longer wishes to deal with. Patients with open-angle glaucoma are ideal for this type of treatment.
With selective laser trabeculoplasty, a laser is applied to the tissue in the eye, which begins both a chemical and biological change. Fluid is then drained from the eye, relieving the pressure in one fell swoop.
Dr. Patel also uses migs eye stents for glaucoma as an excellent way to relieve pressure in an effective person, which may be ideal for someone who is not a candidate for selective laser trabeculoplasty.
Depending on the severity of your condition, Edison ophthalmologist, Dr. Hitesh K. Patel may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Eye drops
- Laser surgery
- Drainage implants
Dr. Patel also regularly performs endoscopic laser photocoagulation, a procedure which enables him to treat cataracts and glaucoma at the same time.
Please contact our Edison ophthalmologists today to schedule your glaucoma screening. Patel Eye Associates serves patients in Edison, New Brunswick, and Middlesex County, New Jersey.