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Taking care of your eyes involves more than simply getting your vision tested -- it also means dealing with any eye diseases that may come your way, including glaucoma. Glaucoma can destroy your eyesight permanently unless it is caught and treated in a timely manner. Fortunately, our Spartanburg SC optometry team at Eyes on Henry can administer both non-invasive in-house treatments and glaucoma surgery co-management as needed to help you preserve your vision.
The term "glaucoma" can apply to several different problems that damage the delicate fibers in the optic nerve that relay visual information to the brain. Most commonly, a buildup in the eye's fluid pressure causes this damage. The eye regularly creates an internal fluid called the aqueous humor, allowing excess fluid to drain out through small ducts in and around the iris. When that drainage system fails, the fluid pressure keeps building until permanent optic nerve damage occurs. The two main glaucoma types are open-angle, in which the drainage angle is normal but drainage is sluggish, and angle-closure, an emergency situation in which a narrow drainage angle shuts off the drainage flow completely.
In most cases, glaucoma can cause serious eye damage long before you might start noticing a reduction in your peripheral vision -- which is why regular eye exams to check for it are a must. Angle-closure glaucoma may cause sudden vision loss, eye pain, headaches, nausea and other acute symptoms.
The earlier your Spartanburg optometrist can identify your glaucoma and administer treatment, the simpler the treatment may be. For many patients, eye drops do an adequate job of keeping fluid pressure under control. We can prescribe different kinds of medicated eye drops that either reduce the amount of fluid produced by the eye or dilate the drainage ducts for improved function. Oral medications can increase the effectiveness of eye drops if necessary.
Sometimes medication isn't sufficient to control the progress of glaucoma, and that's when we may refer you to an eye surgery specialist. But don't fret -- modern laser surgery has made this kind of care extremely quick, easy and painless. Better yet, your Spartanburg optometrist at our clinic will continue to provide necessary co-management of your surgical procedure, from preliminary evaluations to post-operative monitoring. Surgical procedures we co-manage include:
Trabeculoplasty - This laser procedure makes subtle changes to the eye's drainage network where the cornea meets the iris. We usually continue to prescribe eye drops alongside this treatment.
Trabulectomy - This procedure creates a new drainage channel that allows intraocular fluid to "leak out through a constructed valve.
Laser peripheral iridectomy - This procedure is prescribed for angle-closure glaucoma. It essentially bypasses the narrow drainage system by creating a new route from behind the iris.
Contact us at 864-585-0208 for an eye exam and more information about our glaucoma co-management options!