What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a blinding disease of the optic nerve and has been referred to as the “sneak thief of sight” because it may progress without any warning symptoms. Most commonly, glaucoma damage is associated with elevated intraocular pressure above the normal level. Just as a tire is filled with air to a specific pressure, the eye is a hollow organ with fluid normally maintained within a normal range of fluid pressure. The only proven way to slow the progression of glaucoma is to lower the intraocular pressure.
How Is glaucoma diagnosed?
Cape Fear Cataract & Cornea is a superbly equipped ophthalmology clinic where patients benefit from state of the art glaucoma evaluation instrumentation in addition to the skillful clinical evaluation of comprehensive eye exams. Specifically, our surgeons utilize photographic stereo (3D) evaluation of the optic nerve, automated visual field exams with the Humphrey field analyzer, and/or optic nerve fiber layer monitoring with Heidelberg Ocular Coherence Tomography.
What Happens if Glaucoma is Not Treated?
If glaucoma is left untreated, it can lead to loss of vision in both eyes, and sometimes even blindness. After being diagnosed, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss and help treat your glaucoma.
A large percentage of glaucoma patients are successfully treated with pressure-lowering topical eye drops. When medication is not effective, laser or other surgeries may be employed. Increasingly, glaucoma laser treatment is being used worldwide not only when drops are ineffective, but also as a first line treatment alternative to chronic eye drops. The need for topical drops is often reduced after the performance of such procedures.
ISTENT® TRABECULAR MICRO-BYPASS: Now available during cataract surgery with Dr. Groat can help with your glaucoma!
The iStent is 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lens placed in your eye during cataract surgery and is designed to reduce your eye pressure. This procedure can be accomplished through the same incision made for cataract surgery and only adds a few minutes of operative time. Many patients will be able to reduce the quantity of eye drops needed to manage glaucoma. Ask our expert surgeons if this surgical option is right for you.