Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the U.S., especially among African Americans and Latinos. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of the eye called the optic nerve. What is particularly worrisome about glaucoma is the fact that many who have it display no symptoms - until irreversible vision loss occurs.
Dr. Jessica Scott completed her glaucoma fellowship at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, under the tutelage of world-renowned glaucoma specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Liebmann. She looks forward to evaluating and managing all of your glaucoma needs.
What Are the Types of Glaucoma?
There are many types in the U.S. – the most common is open angle glaucoma. Less common types are angle closure glaucoma and congenital glaucoma.
Am I at Risk for Glaucoma?
Some of the major risk factors include:
- Age (Over 60)
- Race (Black and Latino)
- Family history
- High eye pressure
During your eye exam, your doctor may perform one or more of the following diagnostic tests to help identify or confirm a diagnosis of glaucoma:
- Slit Lamp Exam – You rest your chin in a device while the ophthalmologist uses a microscope and light to assess various components of the eye, including the optic nerve. A yellow dye and dilation may be used to help any abnormalities stand out.
- Tonometry – This is a test that measures the pressure of your eye using a gentle probe.
- Visual Field Test – This measures your peripheral vision, which is often the first part of your vision affected by glaucoma.
- Pachymetry – A quick, painless method of measuring the thickness of your cornea. Patients with thin corneas are more susceptible to developing glaucoma.
If you experience any significant changes to your vision – including blurriness, halos around lights, loss of peripheral vision, pain, or redness – schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist right away.
Early diagnosis and treatment are your best defense against glaucoma. While the condition cannot be cured, and any vision loss that occurs cannot be reversed, you can stop glaucoma from progressing.
Glaucoma can be successfully controlled with a variety of methods, including prescription eye drops, laser therapy, or surgery. With appropriate treatment, we can help prevent further vision loss for patients with glaucoma. In addition, there are certain medications – such as cortisone and asthma inhaler medication – that can exacerbate glaucoma and its effects.
When conservative treatments don’t sufficiently treat your glaucoma, your doctor may recommend laser or surgical solutions to remove excess fluid from the eye and lower your intraocular pressure, such as the following:
Glaucoma Lasers in the Office
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) – Instead of a surgical incision, fluid is drained from the eye using laser energy to stimulate the trabecular meshwork and lower eye pressure.
- Laser Iridotomy (LPI) – Considered the gold standard in treating closed angle glaucoma, this method creates a microscopic hole in the iris to help widen the pathway of drainage and lessen eye pressure.
Glaucoma Filtering Surgery
- Trabeculectomy – A small incision is made under the eyelid to create a new exit passage for the eye fluid to be reabsorbed by surrounding tissue.
- Xen Gel Stent – A stent, or small tube, is implanted to create a channel in the eye for fluid to drain from, helping to reduce eye pressure.
- Glaucoma Tube Shunt – A silicone drainage implant helps release eye fluid and reduce pressure in the eye.
Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)
- OMNI device – This device combines two minimally invasive surgeries into one by making a micro-incision in the cornea to gain access to the trabecular meshwork and collector channels to reestablish the eye’s natural drainage.
- Hydrus – This eyelash-size stent allows eye fluid to bypass the trabecular meshwork and drain through a scaffold in the Schlemm’s canal.
Glaucoma Laser Surgery in the Operating Room
- Cyclophotocoagulation (CPC) – This laser treatment targets the part of the eye that produces fluid and shrinks it to reduce the production of the fluid and lower pressure in the eye.
At Scott Eye Care, we provide our patients the expert treatment they need for glaucoma, along with routine monitoring of the condition, as well as their overall eye health and vision.
Glaucoma Treatment & Prevention in East Orange, NJ
The ophthalmologists at Scott Eye Care in East Orange, New Jersey, can help you prevent vision loss due to glaucoma. Visit our office for early detection and treatment of glaucoma. Call us at (973) 674-1070 to schedule your visit or simply request your appointment now.