What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve and can result in loss of vision due to a buildup of pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure).
Glaucoma has been nicknamed the “sneak thief of sight” because the loss of vision normally occurs gradually over a long period of time and is often only recognized when the disease is quite advanced. Often there are no symptoms associated with glaucoma. Once lost, this damaged visual field can never be recovered.
Worldwide, it is the second leading cause of blindness. Glaucoma affects:
- 1 in 200 people aged 50 and younger
- 1 in 10 people over age 80
If the condition is detected early enough, it is possible to arrest the development or slow the progression with medical and surgical means.
Types of Glaucoma
Open Angle Glaucoma
Open angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress more slowly and the patient may not notice that they have lost vision until the disease has progressed significantly.
Narrow Angle Glaucoma/Closed Angle Glaucoma
Closed angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful; visual loss can progress quickly but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs.
The most common surgical treatment of glaucoma is a procedure to reduce the intraocular pressure. Regular eye checkups are essential for the detection and management of glaucoma.
Glaucoma Laser Therapy
Dr. Lipstock was the first surgeon in Richmond to utilize this incredible technology as a primary mode of treatment for most of his patients with glaucoma. This two-minute procedure performed in our office is painless, safe and is a more convenient and a less expensive alternative to glaucoma treatment with eye drops. The laser is utilized to treat the drainage system of the eye known as the trabecular meshwork. Treating this area of the natural internal draining system is designed to improve the outflow of fluid from the eye, thereby lowering the pressure inside the eye.
By scheduling regular eye exams, your eye doctor can alert you to any “silent” vision changes so early treatment can be administered.