Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. It is a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve and can cause blindness without any warning or symptoms. Over 4 million Americans have glaucoma and only half of them know they have it. People at every age are at risk for glaucoma, from babies to seniors. It is not curable and any vision lost cannot be regained.
When fluids in the eye are blocked or clogged in eye passage-ways, pressure begins to build-up. The increased pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve, which provides visual information to the brain. When the optic nerve is damaged, less information is available to the brain and hence, loss of vision.
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’s Glaucoma Center, we strongly recommend annual eye exams to all of our patients over the age of 40 years-old. Our doctors use the Heidelberg Spectral Domain Ocular Coherence Tomography unit or SD-OCT to look carefully at the retinal nerve fiber layer within the eye. It is imperative to look for early nerve fiber layer changes in glaucoma to prevent irreversible vision loss in the future.
How do you treat Glaucoma?
Depending upon the type or severity of the disease, Drs. Liu and Beers 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 further 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 specific melanin containing cells. Targeting these cells stimulates 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. SLT is reimbursed by Medicare and other insurance companies and can reduce the costs of glaucoma medications over time.
Is there a cure for Glaucoma?
No. Unfortunately, vision that has been lost to the disease cannot be recovered. However, laser surgery and medication can usually stop the progression of this degenerative disease! Again, early detection is the best preventative action we have. Schedule an eye exam today.
Who treats Glaucoma?
Ophthalmologists who have extensive experience with early detection, diagnosis and treatment should be sought for treating glaucoma. The surgeons of Peninsula Laser Eye Medical Group are experts in this field. Patients receive cutting edge technology and techniques from doctors who are recognized as top medical providers in the Bay Area.