In general, glaucoma is treated with a combination of prescription eye drops, laser treatment, and/or surgery. Below is a brief overview of some of the safest and most effective laser and surgical procedures.
SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty): A very focused beam of light is used to treat the drainage area of the eye. This surgery makes it easier for fluid to flow out of the front part of the eye, thereby decreasing intraocular pressure. Patients generally do extremely well after just one laser session. Canaloplasty: In an advanced, nonpenetrating procedure, a microcatheter is used to enhance and restore the eye’s natural drainage system. The microcatheter is then removed and a suture is placed and tightened, effectively alleviating the eye pressure. It is minimally invasive and highly effective in reducing intraocular pressure.
Tube-shunt surgery: A flexible plastic tube with an attached silicone drainage pouch is placed in the eye to help drain fluid from the eye and reduce intraocular pressure.
Trabeculectomy: A small piece of tissue in the drainage area of the eye is removed, creating an opening. The opening is partially covered with the outer tissue of the eye. This new opening effectively allows fluid to drain out of the eye, bypassing the clogged drainage channels that resulted in increased intraocular pressure. In addition, there are several promising studies ushering in a new era of glaucoma treatment and care. Such ongoing, innovative research and clinical trials continue to bring new hope to patients with glaucoma. In an effort to provide the best possible care, Texan Eye’s glaucoma specialists are involved in various studies. By participating in FDA trials, such as the Glaukos iStent® trial, our Doctors have worked with various technology since its inception, making themselves the most qualified and familiar with specific glaucoma treatments. Following the FDA approval of the Glaukos iStent® Texan Eye became involved in the Glaukos iStent Supra® study. Currently awaiting FDA approval, the iStent Supra® is a small tube measuring 4mm. The tube allows fluid to flow through it in order to reduce eye pressure and the use of some glaucoma medications. Since the iStent Supra® has gained approval in Europe, glaucoma patients have seen already seen a 50% decrease in their eye pressure. Our Doctors are also currently participating in a new FDA trial called the Glaukos iDose®. The Glaukos iDose® is a product that is injected through a corneal incision that then elutes medication, from within the eye, over time. The product has the potential to eliminate routine eye drops in glaucoma patients while still reducing eye pressure in a low risk manor. With a myriad of possible treatment options that Texan Eye offers, your glaucoma will be treated based on your current condition and vision needs.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and throughout the world. Currently, there are 70 million people worldwide with glaucoma and that number continues to grow as the population ages.
In the United States, there are 4-5 million Americans with glaucoma but only half of them are aware of their condition and seek treatment. As untreated glaucoma leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve with resultant vision loss, it is imperative to be screened for glaucoma as part of the annual eye exam.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases with the common feature of optic nerve damage. Though it is often associated with increased eye pressure, it is not always the case, leading some patients with normal eye pressures to have glaucoma while others with increased eye pressures never develop glaucoma. As such, glaucoma can be elusive in nature and therefore requires specialty training to diagnose and manage properly.
While there is no established cause of glaucoma, certain individuals are at a higher risk for developing the condition -- including those with a family history of the disease; those with diabetes or a past eye injury; people within certain ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Scandinavians; those taking corticosteroids; and anyone over the age of 40.
- Advanced age
- A past eye injury
- A family history of cataracts
- A history of smoking
- A history of taking certain prescription medications (e.g., corticosteroids)
- A history of certain medical conditions (e.g., diabetes)
- Long term exposure to ultraviolet light or exposure to radiation.
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- A feeling of "film" over the eyes
- Temporary improvement in near vision ("second sight")
- Sensitivity to bright lights and glare which may make driving difficult
- Less vivid perception of color
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
- Loss of color vision
- Difficulty seeing objects clearly
- Distorted, blurry vision
- Darkened, or empty spots near the center of the visual field