The eye is a complex structure with multiple parts that work together to help you see. Because it is a finely tuned organ, any failure in its tiny, delicate structures can produce severe outcomes.
Of all the eye parts, one that is crucial for vision is the optic nerve. It communicates information about images from the retina to the brain, and it is irreplaceable. One significant condition that is dangerous to the optic nerve is glaucoma, but it can be managed.
Glaucoma is not just one disease but a series of them that all have the same impact on the health of the optic nerve. The conditions can affect anyone at any age, but they are much more common in people over 60.
Considered a silent thief of sight, glaucoma only presents symptoms once it is much more advanced. You will hardly notice the condition until much later due to its gradual development.
The changes in your vision are so tiny that you will most likely miss them. Because of this aspect of glaucoma, regular eye exams are the best way to detect it. Early detection allows the eye doctor to slow the progression of the disease and preserve vision.
Surgery for glaucoma is typically reserved as a last resort when noninvasive methods fail. Before an eye doctor recommends surgery, they usually try other management options like eye drops or oral medication.
ALT is commonly used on people with the most common form of the condition. It usually involves opening up the blocked clogs in your eye. The eye doctor first treats half the clogs to see how well it works before proceeding with the remaining ones.
This option is more precise than ALT but may be used after or before ALT. The eye doctor uses a low-level laser at places with high pressure, often done a little at a time.
In this procedure, the eye doctor creates a small opening on the iris to let the high-pressure fluid flow out.
In this procedure, the eye doctor makes a small opening in the sclera to remove some mesh tissue and help excess fluid drain. You will usually have to take some medication to prevent scar tissue formation.
The eye doctor uses a minimally invasive technique to implant tiny tubes to drain the fluid in your eye.
The eye doctor uses a device called a trajectory to send heat into the mesh tissues of your eye through a tiny cut. It helps ease the buildup of intraocular fluid and reduce eye pressure.
This most recent surgery to treat glaucoma utilizes microscopic instruments to make tiny openings. It is the faster and much safer treatment option, but its efficacy is also limited.
For more on preventing glaucoma progression, call North Texas Ophthalmology Associates at (940) 240-8400 to reach our office in Wichita Falls, Texas.