Glaucoma Specialist Cape Coral
Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that hinders drainage of the fluid in the eye. A glaucoma specialist at Elmquist Eye Group in Cape Coral or Fort Myers can determine the best course of treatment for you to help prevent the need for surgery.
E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, is an experienced ophthalmologist and surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
The team at Elmquist Eye Group, which includes partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and associates Nina Burt, OD and Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD, has served Lee County communities for 25 years. Our state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with the latest in diagnostic and laser technology, and our commitment to high-quality care sets us apart.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. When damage to the optic nerve fibers occurs, blind spots develop. These blind spots usually go undetected until the optic nerve is significantly damaged. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results, but treatment can help slow down the process to prevent this serious complication.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma occurs when too much fluid (called aqueous humor) builds up in the front part of the eye, creating excessive pressure within the eye, pushing against the optic nerve, and causing damage.
Although the damage to the optic nerve is usually caused by fluid pressure that is too high, this is not always the case. Some people have normal fluid pressure but still get glaucoma.
Comprehensive dilated eye exams are the best way to detect glaucoma. A glaucoma screening that checks only the pressure of the eye is not sufficient.
There have been many advances in glaucoma treatment and surgery in recent years. Medicated eye drops are often the first step in preventing further damage, but laser surgery may be equally effective depending on the type and severity of your glaucoma and the general health of your eyes.
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. Some patients also may develop side effects, such as redness or irritation, dryness, or itching.
Glaucoma Laser Surgery
Although medication treatment is helpful for most glaucoma patients, laser surgery can be very effective because no cutting is involved. It may be used alone or in addition to medications.
Laser trabeculoplasty is the most common laser surgery for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma. It can be helpful for patients who experience side effects from glaucoma eye drops or whose glaucoma is not adequately controlled with medication alone.
Laser iridotomy is appropriate for closed-angle glaucoma. It is often performed before medication treatment or conventional surgery for people who have narrow drainage angles or have closed-angle glaucoma in only one eye.
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.
We encourage you to visit Elmquist Eye Group in Cape Coral or Fort Myers for a glaucoma specialist who can explain the many treatment options and help you decide which one may be best for you. Get in touch with us today at (239) 936-2020.