Glaucoma Specialist in Hershey, PA
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Glaucoma is one of several eye diseases characterized as a silent disease. You may not even know you have glaucoma because the condition often develops over several years without any visible symptoms. Rather than being a rare condition, glaucoma is quite common. In fact, in the US alone, there are more than three million annual cases. If you are in Hershey PA and are in need of a glaucoma specialist, Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania is here for you in nearby Lebanon.
Glaucoma occurs because of increased internal eye pressure that damages the optic nerve. Early on, you may not experience symptoms, but as glaucoma progresses, you may experience a loss of peripheral vision and may also see halos form around lights. Eye pain, headache and tunnel vision are also signs that something might be wrong.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To diagnose the condition, our eye surgeons will perform a comprehensive eye exam which may include imaging and lab tests. The surgeon will examine the eye structures and in particular look at the optic nerve for signs of damage.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, the condition can be effectively managed and treated. Glaucoma treatments are all designed to reduce the inner eye pressure, called intraocular pressure. Early on, our eye doctors will likely prescribe eye drop medications to reduce the eye pressure and help fluid more easily flow from the eye, which also reduces pressure.
More advanced cases of glaucoma are usually treated by surgery. Both laser surgery and microsurgery options are available, and both procedures are designed to allow better drainage of the fluid inside the eye in order to reduce pressure. With glaucoma, fluid buildup often occurs inside the eye’s drainage passageway known as the trabecular meshwork. This fluid buildup prevents the eye from properly draining, so the surgery alleviates the fluid buildup, thus lowering pressure. Surgical results can lower the eye pressure as much as 30 percent for up to five years. If pressure begins to once again build up, the surgery can be repeated.
While anyone can develop glaucoma, certain people are at higher risk including African, Asian or Hispanic Americans and people older than age 60. People with high levels of either nearsightedness or farsightedness or a family history of the disease are also at increased risk.
Several large medical studies have been conducted to look at additional risk factors. Some studies have shown that patients who take calcium channel blockers for high blood pressure treatment may be at higher risk for developing certain forms of glaucoma, and diabetic patients are also at higher risk.
Do you fit any of these categories? If so, come see us. Make an appointment with Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania today. People who live and work in Hershey PA can see our glaucoma specialist in nearby Lebanon. Remember, most of our patients with glaucoma don’t even know they have the disease. Don’t wait. Undetected and untreated, glaucoma can cause significant optic nerve damage over time. Call us at 610-378-8500 or schedule an online appointment.
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