Glaucoma refers to a group of conditions that can damage the optic nerve and eventually lead to greatly impaired vision and even blindness. Currently affecting more than three million Americans, glaucoma will often not present any noticeable symptoms during its early stages, so many patients can remain unaware that they have it until their vision begins to worsen. Fortunately, you can help protect your eyesight from the effects of glaucoma by undergoing regular eye exams at our Bakersfield, CA, practice so that we can diagnose the condition and determine the best course of treatment. Contact Southwest Eye Care and Laser today to schedule an appointment and learn more about our glaucoma treatments.
Regular vision exams are cornerstone to maintaining clear, focused vision.
There are many types of glaucoma, but the two most predominant kinds are open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is by far the most common type, and it occurs when the drainage canals of the eye partially obstruct the flow of aqueous — the fluid between the cornea and the iris — resulting in increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Closed-angle glaucoma refers to the total blockage of these drainage canals. Although only about 10 percent of patients with glaucoma experience this form of the disease, closed-angle glaucoma is generally considered much more urgent.
There are many different surgeries available to help relieve abnormally high IOP. For patients who experience mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma, we can provide an iStent, a tiny drain that fosters proper fluid drainage. In more advanced cases, an argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) or selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) can be performed to open drainage canals. Patients often continue to take medication following trabeculoplasty to control IOP.
For those with closed-angle glaucoma, Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) is often the best method of reducing IOP. During this procedure, your surgeon will create a small opening through the iris that will allow fluid to bypass the blockage and relieve pressure inside the eye. You can depend on the doctors at Southwest Eye Care and Laser to recommend treatment that best meets your needs in terms of safety, relief, and long-term benefits.
Surgery can help to greatly reduce IOP, but you will still need to attend regular exams to monitor your vision because glaucoma is a chronic condition. We can perform a non-invasive optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging test that uses light waves to capture images of your retina, allowing us to assess the condition of the optic nerve. These follow-ups also allow us detect any changes in your visual field and, if necessary, recommend a course of action to protect your eyesight.
Regular vision exams are cornerstone to maintaining clear, focused vision. At Southwest Eye Care and Laser, we can assess your ocular health to determine if you are experiencing glaucoma or other issues. Based on our findings, we can determine a treatment plan to help you achieve and maintain ocular health. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation and learn more.