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Glaucoma often is called the "silent thief of sight," because in most cases there is no pain and visual symptoms until noticeable vision loss occurs. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that involve damage to the optic nerve related to increased intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is a condition that develops when too much fluid pressure builds up inside of the eye. The increased pressure can damage the optic nerve, which leads to a slowly progressive loss of peripheral vision. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years. The intraocular pressure comes from production of fluid (aqueous) in the front of the eye. This fluid drains out of the eye through the trabecular meshwork which is located in the “angle” of the eye.
GLAUCOMA -WHAT IS GLAUCOMA?
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OPEN ANGLE GLAUCOMA
In open-angle glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure results either fromr too much fluid produced or too little fluid leaving through the trabecular meshwork. Most people with glaucoma have open angle glaucoma. There are usually no symptoms associated with open angle glaucoma until it is too late and the majority of vision has been lost. This is most unfortunate as damage from open angle glaucoma can be prevented in most patients – if only they had known they had glaucoma. Open angle glaucoma can be treated with eye drops or laser.
NARROW ANGLE GLAUCOMA
In narrow angle glaucoma, fluid cannot leave the eye through the trabecular meshwork because the “angle” is so narrow. Narrow angle glaucoma can be caused by abnormal eye anatomy where the iris tends to block the angle or from cataracts pushing the iris into the angle. Unlike open angle glaucoma (which tends to be a painless, slowly progressive process), narrow angle glaucoma is usually an acutely painful condition. Narrow angle glaucoma (often called a glaucoma attack) is usually associated with severe pain often accompanied by nausea, significant redness and significant blurring of vision. Patients at risk for narrow angle glaucoma can usually be identified and treated prior to an “attack” Narrow angle glaucoma is treated with lasers.
AAPECS EYE CARE AND GLAUCOMA
Dr. Frenkel trained with one of the country’s leading glaucoma specialists. At AAPECS, we treat hundreds of glaucoma patients every year. We have some of the latest diagnostic equipment including advanced computer diagnostics to test and evaluate peripheral vision and digital imaging technology to document changes in the optic nerve caused by glaucoma.
Treatment for glaucoma can be quite costly as most glaucoma medications are very expensive. At AAPECS Eye Care, we review the latest literature to offer our patients the medications that are both effective and economical. There have been many, many cases where we have been able to save patients hundreds of dollars while still effectively treating their glaucoma.