Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of vision loss both in the United States and around the globe. In 2010, it was noted to affect 2 percent of the population age 40 and higher, and almost twice as much in African Americans and more than three times as much in Asian Americans. Glaucoma, while not preventable, can be in the overwhelming majority of cases can be successfully treated and vision loss can be avoided.
Glaucoma may be defined as a group of disorders, which have in common optic nerve damage sustained from (relatively) high intraocular pressures. The intraocular pressure that causes damage differ in different individuals with some patients having glaucoma despite
pressures in the normal range (10-21mm Hg). Other patient may have relatively higher pressures (greater than 21mm Hg) but not needed to be treated for glaucoma.
The two main types of glaucoma are open and narrow angle glaucoma.
How is Glaucoma diagnosed?
There is no single test that can fully determine whether and what kind of Glaucoma a person may have. At New York Eye & Laser PC, we use a combination of very sophisticated diagnostic technologies and traditional methods of patient examination to make this determination.
Sometimes, Glaucoma may be determined in the first visit, but more often, patients require a series of visits over a period of time to determine whether they have glaucoma.
How is Glaucoma treated?
The treatment depends on the type of Glaucoma.
Open angle glaucoma is most often treated with a variety of eye drops. For the right candidate, at New York Eye & Laser PC, we also perform a procedure known as Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) which is also very effective in lowering pressure. Narrow Angle Glaucoma may also require eye drops, but a laser iridotomy is usually required, as Narrow Angle Glaucoma may lead to Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma attack, which may lead to irreversible vision loss.
I have been diagnosed with Glaucoma and using eye drops. How often do I need to be examined?
Because Glaucoma is impossible to predict, in most cases, it is recommended that the patient be examined every three to four months as pressures may rise due to a change in his or her glaucoma or its response to glaucoma medications.
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