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A diagnosis of glaucoma is understandably upsetting. This disease, which is usually related to excessive fluid pressure within the eye, slowly destroys the optic nerve's ability to convey visual data to the brain, resulting in progressive, irreversible vision loss. But there's no need to panic, because a variety of treatment options can help you get your glaucoma under control so you can protect your eyes against further damage. Your Shreveport ophthalmologist on our vision team at Shreveport Eye Clinic can provide a full range of glaucoma treatment options, from simple eye drops to surgical modification of the eye itself.
While some instances of glaucoma under normal intraocular pressure for no known reason, most tend to be associated with elevated pressure. The eye keeps itself filled with a fluid called the aqueous humor. The eye continually manufactures this fluid; extra fluid drains out through a "mesh" of tiny ducts in the front of the eye, allowing for a constant regulation of pressure. Any impairment of the eye's drainage mechanisms can cause the pressure to build up, and this excess pressure damages the delicate nerve fibers that make up the optic nerve. This damage may continue for years before you actually notice vision changes, which is why regular glaucoma testing is such a necessity.
During the Glaucoma Exam, we will evaluate your visual acuity and check your internal eye pressure. If the doctor suspects that you may have glaucoma a Visual Field may be performed. This test is used to determine if there is any optic nerve damage. The physician may also want to check your eye pressure at a different time of day to establish a pattern. These tests help the physician to determine if medical treatment is necessary.
In some cases the patient may be referred to a glaucoma specialist. If you require medicine for any eye disease you will be given a prescription.
Glaucoma treatment involves getting the intraocular pressure back under control, sparing the optic nerve from additional destruction. The two basic strategies for doing this involve (1) reducing the amount of fluid the eye produces and (2) re-establishing efficient drainage. Your Shreveport ophthalmologist may pursue both of these strategies at the same time for maximum results, using such varied treatment methods as:
Eye drops - Several types of medicated eye drops can either reduce intraocular fluid production or help the drainage ducts relax/dilate for better performance. Some eye drop products only require one dosage per day, while others require more frequent dosage.
Oral drugs - Oral drugs are the next line of defense if eye drops alone aren't effective enough to curb your glaucoma. You may have to take a few pills per day, and the side effects can be more pronounced than those of eye drops.
Laser peripheral iridectomy - Unlike an optometrist, your Shreveport ophthalmologist has the ability to perform eye surgery. Laser peripheral iridectomy is one such procedure. A laser beam makes a tiny opening in the periphery of the iris for immediate improvement of eye drainage. This technique is especially useful for treating patients with acute glaucoma issues.
Surgical trabeculectomy - Trabeculotomy is a non-laser surgical procedure to alter the eye's existing drainage mechanisms. We remove a small portion of your own eye tissue to create a shunt that permits continuous drainage at the point where the cornea meets the sclera (the white of the eye).
Don't let glaucoma claim your eyesight. Take control by calling 318-861-4009 to learn more about our glaucoma treatment options!