Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. It is a group of diseases that can cause blindness without any warning signs or symptoms. Over 4 million Americans have glaucoma and remarkably, only half of them even know it. People at every age are at risk for glaucoma, from babies to seniors. However, the most common type of glaucoma known as Primary Open Angle Glaucoma or POAG is usually more prevalent as we age. It is not usually curable and unlike cataracts, vision loss from glaucoma cannot be regained.
Diagnosis is the first step to preserving your vision.
The only way to combat Glaucoma is through early detection. At Peninsula Laser Eye Medical Group, we strongly recommend annual eye exams to all of our patients over the age of 40, especially for those with a family history of glaucoma. Our doctors use the Heidelberg Spectral Domain Ocular Coherence Tomography Unit or OCT for short to diagnose and monitor patients with glaucoma in order to prevent vision loss. While early detection is critical, so is close follow-up while on therapy. Fortunately, we have numerous newer medications with less side-effects than we had in the past. Likewise, we have newer laser treatments in our armamentarium here at Peninsula Laser Eye Medical Group to treat glaucoma.
Depending upon the type or severity of the disease, Drs. Beers and Liu may suggest prescription eye drops, a laser procedure or eye surgery. These treatments will decrease eye pressure in order to protect the optic nerve from damage. For most people, a combination of these treatments can safely control Glaucoma.
Drs. Beers and Liu offer an advanced laser treatment for glaucoma called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT). SLT uses short pulses of low energy laser light to target very specific melanin containing cells in the eyes filtering system or trabecular meshwork. Targeting these cells allows for the body’s own healing response to lower the pressure within the eye. This high-tech laser procedure for glaucoma only takes a few minutes. It is safe and has no side effects and it is performed in our office in Mountain View, CA. SLT is reimbursed by Medicare and other insurance companies and can reduce the costs of glaucoma medications over time. You may want to ask your doctor if SLT is right for you.