Find a Glaucoma Specialist Near Me
Glaucoma can be controlled if detected and treated at an early stage. If you are looking for a glaucoma specialist near you, you will find an expert at Elmquist Eye Group.
Elmquist Eye Group has been serving Southwest Florida for over 25 years. Ophthalmologist E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, managing partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and his associates, ophthalmologists Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD and Yasaira Rodriguez, MD, and optometrist Nina Burt, OD, provide a wide range of eye care services.
Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Sight
Glaucoma is sometimes called the “silent thief of sight” because it can cause blindness with little or no warning. The disease is associated with elevated intraocular pressure that can lead to optic nerve damage and loss of vision.
Although increased eye pressure can put you at greater risk for glaucoma, it does not mean you have the disease. You have glaucoma only if the optic nerve is damaged. Many people with high eye pressure never develop the disease, and some people have normal eye pressure but still get glaucoma.
Early in open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease, glaucoma affects the peripheral (or side) vision, and many people don’t notice the changes. As the disease progresses, central vision is often affected. Unfortunately, significant damage can be done to the optic nerve before the disease is discovered.
Individuals at risk for glaucoma include:
- Anyone over the age of 60
- African-Americans over age 40
- Family history of glaucoma
- Extremely nearsighted individuals
- Individuals with thin corneas
- History of diabetes
- History of high blood pressure
- History of elevated intraocular pressure
- History of steroid medication usage
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma or have risk factors for the disease, your doctor may ask you to have certain tests, such as visual fields, optic nerve analysis through use of a scanning laser, gonioscopy to assess the drainage structure of the eye, optic nerve photos, and a corneal thickness measurement.
How is Glaucoma Treated?
Damage caused to the optic nerve by glaucoma cannot usually be reversed, but there have been many advances in glaucoma treatment and surgery in recent years.
Eye Drops & Medications: Medications, most often eye drops, can effectively reduce the intraocular pressure caused by glaucoma. There are different types of eye drops, and combination drugs are available for patients who need more than one type of medication. Glaucoma drops have to be used daily, often multiple times a day, to be effective.
Glaucoma Laser Surgery: Although medication treatment is helpful for most glaucoma patients, laser surgery can be very effective because no cutting is involved. Laser trabeculoplasty is the most common laser surgery for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma, while laser iridotomy may be the most appropriate for closed-angle glaucoma.
Conventional Surgery: If you are not a candidate for glaucoma laser surgery, your ophthalmologist may recommend a conventional type of surgery called a trabeculectomy. This outpatient procedure can be used to treat both open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma. It is often reserved for individuals with more advanced glaucoma.
The type of treatment or surgery your doctor recommends will depend on the type and severity of your glaucoma and the general health of your eyes.
Find a highly qualified glaucoma specialist near you in Fort Myers at Elmquist Eye Group. Get in touch with us today at (239) 936-2020.