Glaucoma Treatment in Monterey, CA
Dr. Philip Penrose and the talented ophthalmology team at Eye MD Monterey have many years of experience helping Monterey glaucoma patients successfully manage this condition. They use the latest diagnostic devices and tests to detect and evaluate glaucoma, and they offer a variety of glaucoma treatment modalities. To learn more about glaucoma treatment in Monterey, explore the paragraphs below.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a serious, progressive eye disorder associated with a dangerously high level of internal eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP). This pressure is caused by the accumulation of eye fluid called aqueous humor. A high IOP damages the eye’s optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting visual information to the brain. Sadly, the early loss of peripheral vision due to glaucoma can go unnoticed. As time passes, the optic nerve sustains irreversible damage. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause complete vision loss.
The only way to detect glaucoma in its early stage is through routine eye exams, during which a tonometer is used to measure the IOP.
What Causes Glaucoma?
The cause of glaucoma remains unknown. However, researchers have identified several risk factors, including:
- Age (older patients face a higher risk)
- Ethnic background (African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians face a higher risk)
- Family history of glaucoma
- Diabetes and hypothyroidism
- Taking certain medications
- Eye injury
Although there are several types of glaucoma, the most common are:
- Primary open-angle glaucoma
- Acute angle-closure glaucoma
Primary open-angle glaucoma gradually affects peripheral vision and may lead to tunnel vision when left untreated. In its initial stages, open-angle glaucoma produces no symptoms and is detected during routine eye exams or after vision loss has occurred.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma, also known as narrow-angle glaucoma, leads to sudden symptoms such as eye pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and vision loss. The symptoms generally last for a few hours before abating. However, they recur, causing the patient to lose another portion of his or her field of vision with each attack. Individuals with acute angle-closure glaucoma should seek immediate medical attention.
Signs of increased IOP are usually detected with a tonometer, a small probe that is placed against the eye’s surface. Following initial diagnosis, sophisticated diagnostic technology and computer-guided imaging systems are used to detect abnormalities in the fibers of the optic nerve. At Eye MD Monterey, glaucoma is detected through advanced testing that includes automated perimetry, which measures peripheral vision, and coherence tomography, which obtains images and measurements of the optic nerve and other internal structures.
Routine eye exams are essential in detecting glaucoma and preventing significant vision loss. Please contact us today to schedule your eye exam and learn whether you should consult with one of our Monterey glaucoma doctors.
Glaucoma Treatment in Monterey
Vision loss as a result of glaucoma cannot be reversed. However, when the condition is treated effectively, the remaining vision can be preserved.
Depending on the type and severity of glaucoma, several treatment options exist, including:
- Medication (eye drops)
- Laser treatment
Several types of medicated eye drops are available. The purpose of glaucoma eyedrops is to lower and maintain the IOP, thereby preventing further damage and preserving vision. In order to halt the progression of glaucoma, it is essential that eye drops be used on a regular basis as recommended by our doctors.
Glaucoma surgery is performed only if other treatments have failed. In glaucoma surgery, a tiny drainage hole is created in the sclera (the white part of the eye), allowing aqueous humor to drain out of the eye into a reservoir under the conjunctiva. Dr. Penrose is highly qualified to perform glaucoma surgery and has helped many of our Monterey glaucoma patients preserve their vision.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma surgery is successful in 70 to 90 percent of all glaucoma patients.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Using a q-switched laser, this procedure opens the filter of the drain for intraocular fluid. The result is a decrease in pressure that slows the progression of glaucoma. The procedure is done for one eye at a time and takes a few minutes. A patient should expect to be at the visit for 45 minutes to an hour. The patient can drive home after the case.
Micropulse Cyclodiode Laser
This laser treats the ciliary body, decreasing the production of intraocular fluid and thereby, decreasing pressure in the eye. Although this procedure is short, the laser requires brief sedation. A patient should expect to be at the visit for a little over an hour. The patient will need someone else to drive them home after being sedated.
iStent is the tiniest medical implant that can be placed in the human body. It can be safely implanted in the trabecular meshwork during cataract surgery to improve the outward flow of your eye’s natural fluid, which helps to lower eye pressure. Some glaucoma patients benefit from receiving an iStent during cataract surgery, and Dr. Penrose routinely performs this procedure.
The iStent is implanted after the cataract is removed. Both procedures are performed under local anesthesia.
When Should You Be Screened for Glaucoma?
Routine glaucoma screenings are essential for individuals over the age of 40, especially those who have a family history of glaucoma or suffer from diabetes. If you believe you may be at risk for glaucoma, please call Eye MD Monterey today to schedule your glaucoma screening.