Glaucoma can silently rob you of your sight. Rather than being a single disease, glaucoma actually comprises a group of diseases that affect more than 70 million people across the globe. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, and left untreated, can have great consequences for your eyesight. There are multiple treatments, but surgery is often required. Fortunately, in South Florida, Elmquist Eye Group provides glaucoma surgery.
Glaucoma affects millions of Americans and millions more worldwide. Sadly, glaucoma remains a leading cause of preventable blindness. As internal pressure builds up in the eye, it has no way to escape and over time causes damage to the optic nerve.
There are several forms of glaucoma, but regardless of which form you have, glaucoma silently robs people of their eyesight. The decline in vision happens so rapidly that most patients don’t even notice. If there is a degradation of vision (one of the main symptoms) it happens so gradually that people think it is just a normal degradation with age. In its later stages, glaucoma can create significant vision loss, but by this time, the disease is already advanced and extensive damage has likely already occurred.
While we cannot remedy the vision loss that has already occurred, we can preserve your eyes against further vision loss. The best remedy is early detection, which is why our Elmquist physicians strongly recommend annual eye exams. These are incredibly important, not only for glaucoma but also for other eye diseases. In fact, these exams are the only way we can detect optic nerve damage, and each eye exam includes several tests specifically designed to help us detect glaucoma’s early signs.
Our physicians typically use three standard treatments for glaucoma. Medications, laser trabeculoplasty and conventional surgery are all geared toward reducing the eye’s pressure buildup. When we lower this pressure, we prevent further vision loss.
We usually prescribe medications (pills or eye drops) designed to lower the eye pressure in cases of early-stage glaucoma. Laser trabeculoplasty is a low risk, effective in-office surgical procedure in which we drain the internal eye fluid buildup to lower intraocular pressure.
If these methods are not successful, we usually counsel patients to have the more traditional surgery. We also sometimes encounter patients who are not good candidates for the laser procedure, so we also recommend the conventional surgery in these cases. In the conventional surgery, the surgeon will create a new opening to allow the eye fluid to continuously drain, thus lowering the eye’s internal pressure. This procedure is relatively risk-free, but some patients experience infection and may be at higher risk of later developing cataracts.
At Elmquist Eye Group, we are here for all of your eye needs. Remember, regular eye exams are the best way to detect glaucoma early. However, if you find yourself in need of glaucoma surgery in South Florida, give us a call today. We have convenient locations in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, and we are ready to serve you and all your eye needs.