Glaucoma Co-Management FAQ
Questions Frequently Asked To Our Spartanburg Optometrists
Glaucoma is an ominous-sounding ailment that may have you wondering how our Spartanburg SC optometry center can help you protect your eyes against it. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on the subject.
- What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve of the eye is progressively and irreversibly destroyed. It's usually (but not always) connected with high fluid pressure inside the eye. The eye constantly produces a fluid called the aqueous humor, with excess fluid exiting the eye through a drainage mesh. Impairment of this process can raise eye pressure.
- What are the primary types of glaucoma? The two primary categories of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common variety, is associated with sluggish or inconsistent fluid drainage and may take years to cause obvious vision loss. Angle-closure glaucoma involves a total blockage of the drainage angle. This is an emergency requiring immediate care to prevent sudden, catastrophic vision loss.
- Can glaucoma be reversed? Unfortunately, the damage done to the optic nerve cannot currently be reversed -- which is why you must get the condition detected as early as possible through regular comprehensive examinations.
- How does my Spartanburg optometrist detect glaucoma? The traditional "puff test" administers a tiny puff of air to the eye as a means of measuring pressure. A retinal exam under pupil dilation lets your Spartanburg optometrist view the optic nerves for signs of trouble. An advanced technique called optical coherence tomography (OCT) lets us examine the optic nerve fibers in detail. Visual acuity testing may reveal impaired peripheral vision, a sign of optic nerve damage.
- Can medications treat glaucoma? Fortunately, many cases of glaucoma can be controlled through the use of medicated eye drops. Some of these medications reduce the rate of fluid production in the eye, while others encourage the drainage system to relax and dilate for better fluid removal. If eye drops alone aren't sufficient, our optometrist can supplement them with oral medications.
- What if the medications can't control my glaucoma? For stubborn open-angle glaucoma, we may recommend laser surgery techniques such as trabeculoplasty (to improve the drainage mesh's efficiency) or trabulectomy (to add a constructed drainage "valve"). Iridectomy, a laser procedure that creates a new drainage route through the iris, can help control angle-closure glaucoma.
- How does my Spartanburg optometrist co-manage my glaucoma surgery? Your Spartanburg optometrist offers both pre-operative and post-operative care. We will evaluate the progress and severity of your glaucoma, determine which kind of glaucoma you have and refer you to a skilled Spartanburg laser surgeon. Following your laser procedure, we will administer follow-up exams to monitor your intraocular pressure, optic nerve health and vision.
Let Our Spartanburg Optometry Center Protect Your Vision
Glaucoma co-management begins with vigilance. Call Eyes on Henry at 864-585-0208 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam so we can stay a step ahead of this sight-robbing eye condition!