Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition, which if left untreated leads to progressive optic nerve damage (optic neuropathy) and eventual blindness. Typically, it is caused by elevated intra-ocular pressure, but there are many factors that increase the risk for development and progression of glaucoma. Some of these risk factors include: age, genetics (family history), thin corneas, previous eye injury, vascular disease (poor circulation), and other systemic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure).

Glaucoma is a condition, which if left untreated leads to progressive optic nerve damage (optic neuropathy) and eventual blindness. Typically, it is caused by elevated intra-ocular pressure, but there are many factors that increase the risk for development and progression of glaucoma. Some of these risk factors include: age, genetics (family history), thin corneas, previous eye injury, vascular disease (poor circulation), and other systemic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure).

As glaucoma is a complex condition, the diagnosis and treatment is not always straightforward. With careful evaluation, regular follow-up visits, and diligent treatment in coordination with Dr. Powell and your primary care physician, vision can be preserved. 

How is Glaucoma treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma. The good news, however, is that there has been significant progress in the treatment and management of this disease. Many treatment options are available to prevent the progression of glaucoma and to preserve the eyesight of patients with the disease. The treatment involves optimizing the eye pressure for each individual as well as optimizing the patient’s health, especially in regards to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Some patients require lower pressures than others. Treatment may include: topical medications (eye drops), oral medications, laser, surgery, or a combination of any or all of these options.

Who is at risk for Glaucoma?

Dr. Powell will consider many kinds of information to determine your risk for developing the disease. Important risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Elevated eye pressure
  • Farsightedness or Nearsightedness
  • Past eye injuries
  • Thinner central corneal thickness
  • Systemic health problems, including diabetes, migraines, and poor circulation 


What types of testing are needed for detecting Glaucoma?

Some of the specific tests we utilize to diagnose and manage your glaucoma are:

  • Visual Field Evaluation (peripheral vision test)
  • Tonometry (measurement of the internal eye pressure)
  • Corneal Pachymetry (measurement of the corneal thickness)
  • Digital Photography
  • Optic Nerve Imaging

 

A significant benefit of having your glaucoma care and follow up performed by Dr. Powell is that we have invested in the most advanced technology to monitor glaucoma progression. We use the GDx Pro (scanning laser polarimetry) from Carl Zeiss Meditec. With the use of this instrument, we are able to detect subtle and small changes in the health of your optic nerve better than ever before. It is important to remember that vision loss in glaucoma is not reversible. Early detection and treatment is the best therapy.