January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
Living with Glaucoma:
Management and Treatment for Healthier Eyes
Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight” — and for good reason. There are no discernible symptoms in the early stages of the disease, meaning that you can potentially start to lose your vision before even realizing the issue. And, it’s not just a worrying disease: it’s also worryingly common.
More than 2.7 million Americans live with glaucoma, and while vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored, there are actions you can take to treat and manage the condition in order to maintain both your quality of life and your long-term vision. At Eye Centers of Florida, we want to help increase glaucoma awareness in order to help our patients and their loved ones get the most out of their eyesight.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions marked by increased pressure within the eye. This pressure can push on and damage the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying messages between the eyes and the brain.
When untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness in portions, or all, of your peripheral vision. The three most common types of this condition, which differ in severity, symptoms, and treatments, are:
- Primary open-angle glaucoma, the slowest developing glaucoma
- Angle-closure glaucoma, a less common, fast-acting glaucoma that causes rapid vision loss
- Normal-tension glaucoma, also known as “low-tension glaucoma,” causes gradual damage to the optic nerve despite lower eye pressure
Protect Your Eyes and Your Vision
Because glaucoma is so common, odds are that you’ll become familiar with glaucoma at some point in your life, whether you’re impacted directly or if it affects someone you know.
At Eye Centers of Florida, we’re here to be your resource for all things related to glaucoma. Read on to learn more about our advanced treatment options.
What if I End Up Developing Glaucoma? What’s Next?
Millions of people live perfectly normal lives with glaucoma — after finding the care that best fits their situation. We’ll create your perfect management plan using our advanced treatments. While medicated eye drops or glaucoma supplements can be prescribed to treat mild cases of glaucoma, our doctors are experts in effective surgical treatments for more serious cases.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
During Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), our surgeons will use a laser to stimulate the release of fluid from the eye. This procedure lowers eye pressure by 20-30%, and has similar outcomes to the most effective glaucoma eye drops. The effects of this treatment can last 3 to 5 years, making it more cost-effective than using daily eye drops.
A trabeculectomy reduces eye pressure by draining fluid from the eye. To achieve this, our surgeons carefully create a new pathway for fluid to drain into a small collecting bag near the upper eyelid. Multiple studies of trabeculectomy’s long-term success suggest that most patients achieve low eye pressure without additional glaucoma medication.
Trabecular Micro-Bypass with iStent®
At Eye Centers of Florida, we offer iStent®, an innovative, FDA-approved glaucoma treatment. The iStent® micro implant creates two bypass pathways for fluid to drain from the eye, reducing the eye pressure associated with glaucoma.
While some prefer using eye drops to treat their condition, others may be unhappy with the side effects, expense, and overall hassle of using eye drops daily. Trabecular micro-bypass surgery with iStent® can reduce or even completely eliminate the need to treat glaucoma with eye drops. This minimally invasive procedure has helped improve the intraocular pressure in hundreds of thousands of eyes and can even be inserted during cataract surgery.
Aqueous shunts are small drainage implants placed into the eye that help reduce pressure on the optic nerve by reducing excessive eye fluid. Additional glaucoma medication can be used in conjunction with these shunts to achieve even lower intraocular pressure.
Laser cycloablation procedures are generally used when other glaucoma treatments cannot be performed. This is often the case when the eye’s anatomy isn’t conducive to surgery or the progression of the glaucoma is too severe. In this treatment, pressure in the eye is reduced by freezing the cells that produce fluid.
You Don’t Have to Face Glaucoma Alone.
Eye Centers of Florida is Here to Help.
Getting diagnosed with glaucoma, or even just discovering that you may be at risk for the condition, can be scary. We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to face glaucoma alone.
At Eye Centers of Florida, we’re dedicated to providing the very best care so you can live life with the clearest vision possible. When it comes to glaucoma, our ophthalmologists are experts, determined to provide you with a treatment designed around your specific needs.