Glaucoma Specialist in Muhlenberg, PA
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eight years in a row!
Do you know someone with glaucoma? Many of our patients think that glaucoma is a rare condition, but it is actually quite common. In the US alone, doctors treat more than three million cases per year. If it has been a while since you have had an eye exam, come see us at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania. If you indeed have glaucoma, you will need a glaucoma specialist. If you live or work in Muhlenberg, PA, our Eye Consultants specialist is nearby in Wyomissing. Let’s learn more about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
The problem with glaucoma is that it is a silent disease. Often asymptomatic, the condition develops over several years. With glaucoma, the optic nerve of the eye is damaged due to increased pressure inside the eye.
Once nerve damage starts to occur, eye pain, headache, blurred vision and narrowed (tunnel) vision are all common symptoms. Other symptoms include:
- Loss of peripheral (side) vision
- Seeing halos around lights
- Eye redness
- Vision loss
Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma
Doctors often do lab tests and imaging to determine diagnosis. Through a comprehensive eye exam, doctors can examine the optic nerve for signs of damage.
Unfortunately, glaucoma has no known cure, but several treatments do help manage the condition. All treatments are designed to reduce the intraocular pressure in order to prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Eye drop medications are commonly used, particularly in the early stages, to reduce the internal eye (intraocular) pressure. These medications can reduce the production of internal eye fluid or help fluid flow out of the eye. Laser surgeries and microsurgeries are used to treat more advanced cases. Surgeries are designed to drain the fluid inside the eye in order to reduce pressure.
If laser surgery is recommended, we most often perform a procedure called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). This surgery is designed to help the drainage passageway (trabecular meshwork) drain properly. The surgery alleviates the fluid buildup that occurs inside the passageway. If the pressure is not relieved, the internal eye pressure builds up and damages the optic nerve over time.
This surgery effectively lowers eye pressure by as much as 30 percent and lasts for five years on average. The SLT surgery can be repeated and if for some reason it is not effective, our physicians can perform other types of glaucoma surgeries.
Are You At Risk?
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, but people over age 60 and people of African, Asian or Hispanic descent are at higher risk, as are individuals who are either very nearsighted or very farsighted. If you have a family history of glaucoma, you are also at higher risk.
If you fit any of these categories, or if it has simply been a few years since your last eye exam, make an appointment with Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania today. Most patients don’t even know they have glaucoma, so don’t wait too long. Significant damage can occur over time, so it is important to make an appointment. If you live or work in Muhlenberg, PA, our glaucoma specialist is in nearby Wyomissing. We are waiting for you to be our next new patient. Call us at 610-378-8500 or schedule an online appointment at the Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania website.
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