Glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve, is the world’s second leading cause of blindness. While there is no cure for the condition, with early diagnosis and proper care, your ophthalmologist can control your symptoms and prevent further vision loss. At Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists, we offer a range of non-surgical and surgical glaucoma treatment options for our patients. We take a conservative approach to eye care, and we will always start with moderate treatment before recommending surgery. Contact us today to learn more about glaucoma care.
Glaucoma: The Basics
Usually, glaucoma results from a buildup of pressure inside the eye. In open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease, the drainage channel remains open, but fluid cannot drain quickly enough. Closed-angle glaucoma develops rapidly when the iris changes shape and blocks the drainage channel. If you suffer from this type of glaucoma, you should seek emergency medical treatment. The goal for both open- and closed-angle glaucoma treatment is the same. Your doctor will alleviate the pressure inside your eye by stimulating more rapid fluid removal or by opening up the drainage channel.
Non-Surgical and Laser Treatment
When you visit Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists, our doctors will provide personalized treatment to target your specific symptoms. When treating open-angle glaucoma, we will begin with non-surgical care, and we will recommend minimally invasive laser procedures before suggesting more complex surgical options. Our non-invasive treatment options include:
- Eye drops: Medicated eye drops will typically be your ophthalmologist’s first recommendation. You will apply these drops once or twice a day, and they will slow the production of aqueous fluid, thereby reducing intraocular pressure.
- Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT): If eye drops do not provide sufficient relief, your doctor may recommend this laser procedure. He will use a surgical laser to open up a narrowed or closed drainage channel. Typically, you can only undergo ALT twice.
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT): Like ALT, SLT opens the drainage channel in your eye. SLT uses an advanced laser to open the trebecular meshwork and stimulate drainage from the eye. This laser is highly precise and allows your doctor to target very specific cells, so you can usually undergo SLT multiple times.
- Peripheral Iridotomy: If you suffer from closed-angle glaucoma, this treatment uses a laser to remove of the part of your iris that is blocking the drainage channel. Peripheral iridotomy can also be used as a preventative treatment if you are at risk for closed-angle glaucoma.
Advanced Surgical Options
If medication and laser therapy do not provide sufficient relief for your glaucoma, we also offer several highly effective surgical treatments, including:
- Stents: Also called “shunts” or “glaucoma implant tubes,” your doctor will surgically implant these microscopic drainage tubes in your eye, creating a new exit channel for intraocular fluid.
- Trabeculectomy: During this treatment, your doctor will remove a piece of tissue from the drainage channel (or the trabecular meshwork), thereby creating a way for fluid to drain out of your eye. The opening will be covered with tissue from the sclera, or the white part of your eye.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you suffer from glaucoma, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. With early diagnosis and care, we can control your symptoms and prevent further vision loss. To schedule your appointment and find out which treatment option may be right for you, contact Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists today. Call our office at (352) 360-2301.