We Are A Glaucoma Center of Excellence
Glaucoma has been called “the silent thief of sight.” It is a complicated eye disease characterized by increased intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye, and subsequent damage to the optic nerve. Today, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and worldwide. Glaucoma affects over 3 million Americans, but only half of them are aware they even have the disease.
Can Glaucoma Be Cured?
Although there is no cure for glaucoma, early detection from our Grand Junction glaucoma treatment experts can slow or stop progression and prevent vision loss and blindness. Regular eye exams are important to assess eye health and treat vision problems properly.
Who is at risk for Glaucoma?
Understanding risk is important for prevention and detection. The following factors increase your risk of developing glaucoma:
- advanced age: glaucoma is most common over age 60
- having a family history of glaucoma: you may be at higher risk if your parents or siblings have been diagnosed with the disease
- having a history of eye trauma
- certain anatomical issues in the eye, such as a thin corneas or a narrow drainage angle
- history of long-term use of prednisone or other corticosteroids
- certain medical conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and heart disease
If you have more than one risk factor for glaucoma, be sure to share that with your eye doctor.
The most common symptom of both open-angle and chronic angle-closure glaucoma are slow changes to peripheral vision, but most patients do not have symptoms in early stages of the disease.
Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma are different and include severe eye pain, redness, blurred vision and halos around light. In some cases it is accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
How is Glaucoma Treated?
Treatment options vary significantly depending on the type of glaucoma and the stage of the disease. For many patients, prescription eye drops are sufficient, but some patients will need systemic medications and/or glaucoma surgery. Our glaucoma treatment doctors have extensive surgical experience with glaucoma patients of all types.
Glaucoma is the result of optic nerve damage. Blind spots develop in your visual field as the nerve deteriorates. Nerve damage happens as a result of increased eye pressure due to a fluid buildup (aqueous humor) throughout the inside of your eye. Fluid usually drains out through a tissue called a trabecular meshwork, located around the base of the cornea. If fluid drainage doesn’t work properly or is overproduced, eye pressure increases as fluid can’t flow out at a normal rate.
Some of our treatments for glaucoma are
LPI (Laser Peripheral Iridotomy)
Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) is a laser treatment for narrow angles, narrow angle glaucoma, and acute angle closure glaucoma. During LPI treatment, a laser is used to target the narrow angles between the iris and cornea in an attempt to widen them and increase fluid flow. This allows the eye to better regulate intraocular pressure.
SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty)
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser-enabled procedure to treat intraocular pressure (IOP) caused by open-angle glaucoma. Successful SLT treatment typically lasts anywhere from 1 to 5 years. Patients can undergo SLT surgery multiple times as needed. SLT may replace the need for glaucoma medication in some patients, but additional medications may still be needed in some cases.
If you’ve been managing your glaucoma symptoms with medication, and also need cataract surgery, iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass may be an ideal option for you. iStent is a tiny implant that’s helped thousands of people with glaucoma successfully manage their intraocular pressure and reduce or eliminate their need for hypotensive eyedrops. By taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity during cataract surgery, you can address both conditions at the same time.
CPC/ECP (Cyclophotocoagulation/Endoscopic Cyclophotocoagulation)
Cyclophotocoagulation (cyclo-photocoagulation; CPC; or ECP if performed endoscopically) is an alternative glaucoma treatment most often used when glaucoma medication and other surgical treatment options do not lower intraocular pressure (IOP) as much as desired or required. These glaucoma cases are often referred to as ‘refractory,’ or stubborn and resistant to treatment.