Glaucoma is often called “the sneak thief of sight” because many people have already lost a significant amount of vision before they realize they have the disease. The lost vision can’t be restored, but early detection and proper medical treatment and/or surgery can prevent further loss of sight.
If you live or work in Schuylkill County and are over the age of 40, get tested for glaucoma and discuss treatment options with the specialists at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania. We are the leading ophthalmology practice in the region, with four convenient locations in Wyomissing, Pottsville, Pottstown and Blandon.
Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania has a highly skilled team of glaucoma specialists:
- Edna Z. Mahmood, MD – Board certified ophthalmologist; received her medical degree from Fatima Jinnah Medical College; fellowship-trained in glaucoma with Dr. George L. Spaeth, Director of Glaucoma Services, at the prestigious Wills Eye Hospital;
- Elliot B. Werner, MD – Board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada; received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania; fellowship-trained in glaucoma at the University of British Columbiawith Dr. Stephen Drance, a pioneer in developing glaucoma specialty training; Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology;
- Mehul H. Nagarsheth, MD – Board certified ophthalmologist; received his medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine; fellowship-trained in glaucoma at Tufts New England Eye Center and Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston; extensive experience in medical research of the eye;
- Justin M. Shaw, MD – Board certified ophthalmologist; received his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; fellowship-trained in glaucoma at the renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami.
What is Glaucoma?
The eyes are nourished by a clear fluid (called aqueous humor) that circulates inside and is constantly returned to the blood stream by what is called the trabecular meshwork, or the eye’s drainage canals. The production, circulation and drainage of this fluid are ongoing and required to maintain healthy eyes.
When something goes wrong with the drainage canal and the fluid is unable to leave the eye as fast as it is produced, pressure inside the eye begins to build. This excess pressure pushes against the delicate optic nerve. If the pressure stays too high for too long, permanent vision loss can occur. This is glaucoma.
There are several forms of glaucoma, including:
- Open-Angle Glaucoma
- Angle-Closure (or Narrow Angle) Glaucoma
- Normal Tension Glaucoma
- Pigmentary Glaucoma
- Exfoliation Syndrome
- Trauma-Related Glaucoma
- Childhood (or Congenital) Glaucoma
The most common form of the disease is open-angle glaucoma. It occurs when the open drainage angle of the eye becomes clogged over time and pressure inside the eye builds. This occurs gradually and painlessly, so damage to the optic nerve occurs before you are aware of any problem. There are usually no warning signs or symptoms for this form of glaucoma, so it is very important to have regular eye exams to detect vision changes or damage.
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the drainage angle of the eye becomes completely blocked. This results in a sudden rise of dangerously high pressure. This is a much more rare form of glaucoma, but can cause blindness in the affected eye if not treated promptly. The symptoms are noticeable and include sudden severe eye pain, headache, nausea or vomiting, sudden blurred vision, halos or rainbows around lights, and/or sudden loss of vision in one eye. The symptoms may worsen over a few hours and you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room or at your ophthalmologist’s office.
If glaucoma is detected early, there are many treatment options that can minimize loss of vision before the disease becomes too advanced. Treatments include eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods. You and your doctor will need to work as a team in the battle against glaucoma to find the treatment that is most appropriate for your situation.
There have been many advances in glaucoma treatment and surgery in recent years. If you’ve been told that your eye pressure is elevated or the shape of your optic nerve is asymmetrical, get in touch with the board certified, fellowship-trained Glaucoma specialists at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania for an evaluation.. We serve Schuylkill County, Berks County and beyond, and would be delighted to discuss the many treatment options that can help preserve your vision.