Treating Severe Glaucoma
- Posted on: Mar 30 2020
The eyes serve as much more than the windows to our souls, they are the literal windows to the world that we see. The brain processes light signals that pass through the optic nerve into multidimensional objects. These signals are vital to the brain’s interpretation of relative distance, color, and our very orientation in the space around us. This is why, when something happens to alter our vision, it can be distressing. We understand this and share our patients’ concerns, and we do everything we can to help them preserve their sight when conditions like glaucoma develop.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is not a single condition; it is a group of conditions that involve damage to the optic nerve. Any glaucoma condition is concerning because it can lead to blindness. The that that occurs stems from a buildup of fluid inside the eye. When there is too much fluid in the eye, pressure builds up. Normally, fluid, known as the aqueous humor, exits out of an angle where the cornea and the iris (the colored part of the eye) meet. The fluid drains out of what is called the trabecular meshwork. If the drainage system fails or cannot drain fluid as fast as it is accumulating, intraocular pressure increases. Because this occurs gradually, most people with glaucoma do not realize that their vision has changed until a more advanced stage of disease.
Because vision loss originates with the optic nerve, it cannot be restored. Treatment for glaucoma is vital to preserving whatever vision we can.
How is Glaucoma Treated?
Whenever possible, glaucoma is treated with medication formulated to reduce the pressure in the eye. By doing this, vision can be stabilized. However, if glaucoma has progressed to a more advanced and potentially serious stage, an ophthalmologist may consider laser treatment. The most common laser procedure performed for glaucoma is the trabeculectomy. This minor surgery creates a small flap in the sclera, the white surface of the front of the eye. The flap serves as a reservoir that empties excess fluid to be absorbed by nearby blood vessels.
If you have a family history of glaucoma, prevention is especially important. Routine eye exams serve as a primary avenue for early glaucoma detection. Talk to your eye doctor about your glaucoma risk and discover ways to preserve your eyesight for the foreseeable future. Contact us in North Canton, Alliance, or Canfield to schedule your visit.
Posted in: Glaucoma