Glaucoma, commonly known as the “sneak thief of sight,” is a group of eye diseases that can lead to damage of the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and blindness if left untreated. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Studies suggest that half of the people affected by glaucoma in the United States don’t know they have it.
A glaucoma specialist is an eye doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. They will work closely with patients to monitor their eye pressure, assess their optic nerve health, and develop individualized treatment plans to help manage glaucoma and prevent further vision loss.
Yes. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, patients are four to nine times more likely to develop glaucoma if there is a family history of the disease. Glaucoma occurs when pressure rises inside the eye and causes damage to the optic nerve over time. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease, caused by a buildup of fluid that cannot drain from the eye normally.
There is also a known link between high blood pressure (hypertension) and optic nerve damage; high blood pressure is another condition that can run in families. If you have a family history of either hypertension or glaucoma, it’s important to have your eyes monitored throughout your lifetime with regular exams.
Early detection and accurate diagnosis are essential to treat glaucoma, and timely intervention can go a long way in maintaining the health of your eyes. By understanding the numerous treatment options available, you can make informed decisions about your eye care.
Eye drops are the most common and often effective method for managing glaucoma. They work to lower intraocular pressure and reduce the risk of optic nerve damage. However, glaucoma management is not one-size-fits-all, and some patients may require additional treatment.
Laser therapy is another treatment method for glaucoma, particularly for those who may not respond adequately to eye drops or wish to explore alternative options. This non-invasive procedure can help control intraocular pressure and slow down the progression of the disease.
Various incisional eye surgeries may be necessary in more complex cases or when other treatments are ineffective. It’s crucial to discuss your condition with your ophthalmologist to find the right treatment plan for you.
At International Eye Associates, we are proud to have a premier glaucoma team. Dr. Koike and Dr. Habhab specialize in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of glaucoma. They perform the following procedures: