Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the United States. The condition affects more than 3 million Americans, a majority of which are over the age of 40. Glaucoma develops from improper drainage that increases the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP). In the early stages, glaucoma typically does not present any symptoms, making regular eye exams imperative to successful diagnosis and treatment.
Regular eye exams are the only way to detect glaucoma and cataracts before they begin to affect your vision. If you have already begun to notice changes in your vision, we have several treatment options to manage these conditions.
Glaucoma is primarily treated and managed through various medications. These topical and oral medications work to either increase fluid drainage from your eye, or by decreasing ocular fluid production. It is important to follow your doctor’s treatment plan closely to prevent progression of this disease.
While medication is typically the first line of treatment for glaucoma, it is not always successful. In more severe cases where medication proves ineffective, your doctor may recommend surgery. Laser surgery can be used to create additional openings that will increase fluid drainage. Filtering microsurgery works in a similar fashion, but is performed with traditional surgical instruments rather than a laser. Both surgery options are effective in slowing the progression of glaucoma, but unfortunately, neither can reverse the effects of the disease or restore lost vision.
A cataract clouds your eye’s natural lens and impairs your vision. Surgery is the only available treatment option for the condition. During cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed from your eye and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Cataracts affect many adults, and by age 80, more than half of all Americans have had one or more cataracts.
Thanks to recent advancements in vision technology, cataract surgery is a relatively quick and painless procedure, with minimal recovery time. To access your eye’s natural lens, your doctor creates a small incision in your cornea. Ultrasound technology is used to break up the hardened, cloudy lens, which your doctor then carefully removes. Once the cataract-afflicted lens is removed, your doctor will fold the IOL and insert it through the incision. Once inserted, the IOL unfolds in place and allows you to see clearly. Sutures and bandages are not required, as the small incision will heal on its own in a matter of days.
Schedule Your Eye Exam Today
Regular eye exams are the only way to detect glaucoma and cataracts before they begin to affect your vision. If you have already begun to notice changes in your vision, please contact our office to make an appointment right away. By undergoing treatment, we can help you slow the progression of these conditions. Expert management from an experienced optometrist is imperative to preserving your long-term vision.