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Glaucoma Services at Texas Eye Surgeons in Plano
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve when excess fluid creates abnormal pressure your eye. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, people at risk for developing glaucoma include men and women over 60 years old, African-Americans, having a family history of glaucoma and being diagnosed with hypertension.
An asymptomatic, progressive eye disease, glaucoma impairs vision so slowly that early detection is the best treatment. Eye drops help delay worsening of vision problems in early stage glaucoma while surgery may be recommended to restore vision impaired by later stage glaucoma.
Types of Glaucoma
The most commonly diagnosed form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma affects eye health when the eye cannot drain fluid efficiently enough to prevent rising intraocular pressure. When the optic nerve suffers moderate to severe damage, you may see blank spots interfering with your field of vision. As glaucoma progresses, these blank spots will enlarge, eventually taking up most of your vision.
Normal-tension (also called low-tension) glaucoma indicates that although your eye pressure is consistently below 21 mmHg, you may still suffer vision loss and optic nerve damage. Treatment methods for normal-tension glaucoma are the same as those for open-angle glaucoma.
If your iris (the colored part of your eye) is near the drainage angle within in the eye, the iris may block the drainage angle and cause intraocular pressure to rise rapidly. Acute attacks of narrow-angle glaucoma is an eye emergency requiring immediate treatment by an ophthalmologist. People born with narrow drainage angles, are farsighted or are of Asian descent are more prone to suffering narrow-angle glaucoma.
If you have had eye injuries, been on steroid therapy for an extended period or have an undetected tumor in the eye, you may be diagnosed with secondary glaucoma, or glaucoma resulting from a condition other than increased intraocular pressure. Common types of secondary glaucoma include neovascular, pigmentary and pseudoexfoliative glaucoma.
Recommended for people with closed-angle glaucoma or narrow drainage angles, a laser iridotomy creates pinhead-sized hole though the iris to enhance the flow of fluid to the drainage angle. This procedure decreases intraocular pressure and prevents episodes of acute closed-angle glaucoma.
Medicated eye drops contain ingredients such as beta blockers, prostaglandin analogs and alpha agonists to relieve pressure and prevent optic nerve damage. Some eye drops for glaucoma decrease the amount of fluids produced by the eye or may help fluids flow more easily though the drainage angle.
When laser surgery is unsuccessful, incisional or filtering glaucoma surgery may be needed to surgically create a drainage hole using a small tool instead of laser energy. If necessary, eye doctors can perform glaucoma surgery several times without substantial risk to eye health or vision.
Call Texas Eye Surgeons today to schedule an eye exam and glaucoma test by contacting us at 972-379-3937.