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Glaucoma

Condition

Glaucoma

Glaucoma results from damage to the optic nerve. It is a progressive disease that is primarily associated with increased pressure in the eye and can lead to blindness.

An Overview: Glaucoma

At a Glance:

  • Usually occurs when fluid builds up in the front of the eye 
  • The increased pressure damages the optic nerve
  • It can cause total blindness but is completely preventable
  • The earlier glaucoma is treated, the sooner the damage stops

The optic nerve is incredibly vulnerable to damage from elevated pressure. Continuous elevated pressure or spikes in pressure can damage the optic nerve, which can lead to vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. 

In a healthy eye, a balance exists between the fluid produced and the fluid that leaves the eye. This balance maintains a healthy level of eye pressure. In order to maintain this balance, the eye has a built-in drainage system. This drainage system controls the inflow and outflow of fluids, which are responsible for nourishing the eye. 

The eye’s drainage system works similar to a sink. Fluid is produced from the faucet and exits through the drain. If a blockage develops in the eye’s drainage system or if fluid is produced faster than it can escape, an overflow will occur. In the eye, this overflow causes the pressure to elevate. 

The primary goals of glaucoma surgery are to reduce eye pressure and prevent vision loss. When treating glaucoma, one way to reduce pressure is to turn off the faucet. Another option is to remove the blockage that is preventing or slowing the fluid’s escape. The final option for reducing pressure is to create a new channel for fluid escape. Your glaucoma specialist will recommend the best option for you based on the specifics of your condition.

Types of Glaucoma

Not all glaucoma is the same. The condition can develop in several different ways; treatment must be based on the underlying cause to provide effective relief of symptoms and vision restoration. Doctors will first investigate to find the glaucoma suspect because patients are unable to identify most risk factors: high or low intraocular (IOC) eye pressure, sensitive or suspicious optic nerves, narrow eye angles, and/or pigment dispersion. 

Glaucoma is indicated by high IOC, or pressure inside the eye. Higher than normal IOC is called Ocular Hypertension. It does not usually have any signs or symptoms. Glaucoma is often called the ‘silent thief of sight’ because it can happen slowly over time with the patient being completely unaware.

Specific types of Glaucoma include:

  • Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG). This is the most common form of glaucoma. It is identified by raised eye pressure even though the anterior chamber angle is open and appears normal with no underlying disease. The risk of developing POAG increases with age.
  • Closed-Angle Glaucoma. In this situation, the iris can ‘select’ to block the drainage angle completely and spontaneously creating a glaucoma emergency. Symptoms do appear, but you must call your Ophthalmologist immediately. Symptoms may include: blurry vision, severe eye pain, and colored halos around lights. Headache or nausea and vomiting may also occur.
  • Neovascular Glaucoma (NVG). Some underlying diseases like Diabetes can increase a person’s risk for NVG. Patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, central retinal vein occlusion, or carotid artery obstructive disease, are at greater than normal risk.
  • Secondary Glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can arise due to previous injury, inflammation, tumors, or advanced cataracts. The use of steroids or chronic allergy treatments can lead to blindness from high intraocular pressure.
  • Juvenile Glaucoma/Congenital Glaucoma. This is a rare condition that occurs in babies and young children. It is usually diagnosed within the first year of life. Early, regular eye exams are the key to detection.
Dr. Gabriela Avila

Why CODET for Glaucoma Care?

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About our Technology and Facilities

CODET constantly evaluates the best, proven technology in each specialty. Some of our Glaucoma equipment includes:

  • Zeiss Humphrey Field of Vision
  • Heidelberg Spectralis OCTIRIDEX optics
  • CORVIS STL
  • Ziemer Femtosecond Z8 laser
  • Quantel
  • OPTIMIS Fusion laser

What is Glaucoma?

A quick and easy look on glaucoma.

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