Glaucoma is a common condition arising due to an increase in eye pressure. It often goes undiagnosed in the earliest stages, and most patients only take action when the symptoms progress. At West Coast Eye Institute, we provide comprehensive eye exams to monitor your ocular health and identify/ treat eye conditions, including glaucoma, at the earliest stage possible. If you have the signs or symptoms of glaucoma in Bakersfield, please consult our ophthalmologists today.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma refers to a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve, the cord that connects your brain and your eye. At its initial stages, you may have blurry peripheral vision, but it eventually leads to greatly impaired vision and even blindness. Currently affecting over 3 million Americans, glaucoma doesn’t necessarily present noticeable symptoms during its early stages, so it often goes undiagnosed until its symptoms worsen. Monitoring eye pressure is essential in the management of glaucoma.
What are the types of glaucoma?
- Open-Angle Glaucoma: This is the most common type of glaucoma. It happens gradually, where the eye does not drain fluid as well as it should (like a clogged drain). As a result, eye pressure builds and starts to damage the optic nerve. This type of glaucoma is painless and causes no vision changes at first.
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma happens when someone’s iris is very close to the drainage angle in their eye. The iris can end up blocking the drainage angle, like a piece of paper sliding over a sink drain. When the drainage angle gets completely blocked, eye pressure rises very quickly, increasing your risk of blindness. When this happens, you must call an ophthalmologist right away.
What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
- Advanced age
- Increased eye pressure
- Family history of glaucoma
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- History of eye injuries
- History of every anemia
- Steroid use
What are the signs of an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack?
- Your vision is suddenly blurry
- You have severe eye pain
- You have a headache
- You feel sick to your stomach (nausea)
- You throw up (vomit)
- You see rainbow-colored rings or halos around lights
How to minimize the risk of glaucoma?
- Go for regular eye exams to identify and treat glaucoma at its earliest stages.
- Use glaucoma eye drops to reduce the risk of elevated eye pressure.
- Engage in regular exercise to maintain overall health and lower the pressure in your eyes.
- Wear protective eyewear during sports, physical work, or construction projects to prevent eye injuries, which can lead to traumatic glaucoma.
The advancements in the surgical management of glaucoma have made surgical options more controllable and safer. There are many different options for glaucoma surgery, and all of them have the same goal — lower eye pressure by removing the fluid in the eye. However, different surgical techniques might be suitable for different patients. Please talk to your surgeon and ask questions about which option for glaucoma in Bakersfield is the best for you.
Trabeculectomy is the gold standard of surgical glaucoma. When a “new” surgical option is proposed, researchers always ask, “how does this compare to the results of a trabeculectomy?” This procedure treats the trabecular meshwork of the eye, i.e., the tissues responsible for the drainage of fluid from the area behind the cornea. This surgery targets this meshwork to increase drainage and reduce eye pressure. This is suitable for patients with open-angle glaucoma.
The Glauko’s iStent is a micro-incision glaucoma shunt placed within the eye during cataracts to help with the filtration of eye fluid. At the time of implantation, your surgeon will evaluate the eye’s drainage system and place two microscopic stents. This can be done at the time of your cataract surgery, and the microscopic stents can be removed later. This is suitable for patients with mild-to-moderate primary open-angle glaucoma in Bakersfield.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a noninvasive option in the management of glaucoma. The concept is simple — if you have too much fluid in the eye, a laser is used to open the drain. In this case, however, some of the trabecular meshwork is left intact. This procedure takes roughly 15 minutes, is repeatable, and no anesthesia is needed. This is often the first line of treatment for young patients.
Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)
Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) uses microscopic instruments to make extremely small incisions to reduce eye pressure. This improves fluid drainage out of the eye, thereby reducing eye pressure and protecting the optic nerve. MIGS increases the success rate and ensures faster recovery than traditional glaucoma surgery. It’s suitable for patients with mild to moderate glaucoma.
Schedule your glaucoma surgery in Bakersfield, CA
West Coast Eye Institute is a state-of-the-art ophthalmology practice in Bakersfield. You can protect your eyesight from the effects of glaucoma in Bakersfield by undergoing regular eye exams at our Bakersfield practice. We diagnose the condition at its earliest stage and provide the best course of treatment before it affects your ocular health considerably. Please schedule an appointment to discuss your glaucoma surgery options or schedule an eye exam.