What is Glaucoma?
Simply put, glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that are characterized by increased pressure inside the eye. The inside of your eye is bathed in a liquid that is constantly being produced within the eye and then drains to make room for fresh fluid. If the draining of the eye becomes interrupted the constant production of fluid gradually "overfills" the eye resulting in a rise of interior pressure. Over time, or left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve resulting in loss of vision. Risk factors for glaucoma include those with diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, or those of African descent.
How is Glaucoma Managed?
Early intervention is the best way to prevent vision loss, which is why everyone should have an annual eye exam that includes a pressure check for glaucoma. Once diagnosed, you and your doctor will need to act as a team in managing your glaucoma. Vision loss due to glaucoma is irreversible so it is vital to follow your doctor's instructions completely.
Eye drops and oral medications can be used as treatment for glaucoma by controlling the pressure within the eye. It is important to follow the instructions exactly and use your medications as prescribed. Please tell your Eye Group doctor all medications you are currently taking, and inform any doctor you see of the medicines prescribed to you by us, drug interactions may alter the effectiveness of a medication or cause harmful side effects to you.
When a patient cannot tolerate medicines or the medicines are not achieving the desired effect, your doctor may recommend a laser-based glaucoma surgery to manage your glaucoma. Laser glaucoma surgery procedures are a great tool, increasing in popularity, that allow patients to avoid or at least postpone traditional invasive surgery. There is little downtime for patients, most resuming normal activities in a short period of time. The laser acts on the draining mechanism in the eye, allowing the fluid levels to return to normal.
Discuss your situation with your Eye Group doctor, ask questions, and outline a plan for the best treatment for your glaucoma.