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What is glaucoma and how is it treated?



Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases with the common feature of optic nerve damage. Though glaucoma is usually associated with increased eye pressure, it can develop with normal eye pressure as well. In general, increased intraocular pressure causes optic nerve damage which leads to vision loss. In the early stages of untreated glaucoma, side or peripheral vision is affected. If glaucoma is allowed to progress, it is possible for the entire optic nerve to be destroyed, leading to significant vision loss or irreversible blindness. However, with early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Approximately half the cases of glaucoma in the United States go undetected because it often occurs without pain or warning. Therefore, a comprehensive eye exam is recommended for everyone over 50 years old for the early detection and treatment of glaucoma. Further exams may be warranted based on what your doctor finds.

How is Glaucoma treated?

Timely detection is the key to effective treatment of glaucoma. To diagnose and manage glaucoma, we perform visual field testing, measure intraocular pressure and corneal thickness, and assess, photograph and scan the optic nerve using the newest technologies available. In general, treatment for glaucoma consists of prescription eye drops, laser therapy and/or surgery with the aim of lowering intraocular pressure and preventing vision loss. As part of successful glaucoma management, we recommend that our patients with glaucoma visit us for periodic checkups as prescribed.

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