Glaucoma is a very tricky eye disease in the sense that it does not have symptoms. You do not have any pain or real changes in your vision. That is why it is so important to get your annual eye exams to makes sure your eyes are healthy. If you or someone you know happens to have glaucoma, your eye doctor probably went over the treatment options with you. The first line treatment options include eye drops to lower the eye pressure. The different types of eye drops work on two different systems of either decreasing how much fluid you produce in your eye or to increase its ability to drain from the eye. Typically these drops or a combination of drops can keep the eye pressure to a level that helps to stop the possible damage from Glaucoma. There are times however where the eye drops are not sufficient to keeping the eye pressure down enough. This is where surgical options come into play.
There are a couple laser treatments called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) and Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT) that can help to lower the eye pressure. These lasers act upon the trabecular meshwork to increase the drainage of the fluid in the eyes. The ALT scars the entire trabecular meshwork while the SLT focuses on a certain portion which is why it tends to be the more common of the two lasers.
Another surgical option is something called a Trabeculectomy. This procedure is when the surgeon creates a small hole in the sclera or white part of the eye to create a pocket for more drainage of the fluid in the eye. This is typically done on the top part of the eye so the eyelid prevents it from being exposed. The area is stitched to prevent too much fluid from draining and the stitched area is called a bleb.
Another surgical option is when a tube shunt is placed in the anterior chamber of the eye to lower the eye pressure. The tube is placed in the anterior chamber which is the area between the cornea and the iris. The tube acts like a shunt to drain the fluid better to lower the pressure in the eye.
Solinsky Eyecare now has a Glaucoma specialist in our practice Jeremy Hwang, MD, PhD. If you would like to have Dr. Hwang evaluate your glaucoma or if you have been told you are suspicious for glaucoma please call and schedule an appointment (860) 233-2020.