Glaucoma Specialist Shillington, PA
Over 70 million people worldwide suffer from glaucoma, but many do not even know they have it. Glaucoma is called the silent thief of sight, and is actually a group of eye diseases. What do they all have in common? The optic nerve is damaged and, when left untreated, can rob a person of his or her eyesight. If you live or work in Shillington, PA, our Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania glaucoma specialist in Wyomissing can help.
Glaucoma affects more than three million Americans and is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the world. It is caused by an increase in internal eye pressure. Over time, that pressure buildup damages the optic nerve and its ability to transmit visual information from the eye to the brain. There are several types of glaucoma:
- Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
- Normal Tension Glaucoma
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma
- Pigmentary Glaucoma
- Exfoliation Syndrome
- Trauma-Related Glaucoma
- Childhood Glaucoma
A degradation of vision is a main indicator of glaucoma, but this decline happens so gradually that patients don’t notice any of the symptoms until it is too late. Unfortunately, by the time most people notice any significant vision loss, the glaucoma has already reached an advanced stage and extensive damage has already been done.
There is no remedy for the vision loss that has already occurred, so early detection, diagnosis and treatment are all incredibly important. Our glaucoma specialists in Shillington can preserve your vision and often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.
For these reasons, our Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania physicians emphasize the incredibly important regular eye exam. These exams are the only way our glaucoma specialists can detect the optic nerve damage that is characteristic of glaucoma. The comprehensive eye exams include several glaucoma detection tests designed to look for early signs of the disease.
Glaucoma can be treated using one of three standard treatments — medications, laser trabeculoplasty, or conventional surgery — all designed to reduce the intraocular pressure inside the eye. By lowering the internal eye pressure, further vision loss can be prevented. Left untreated, patients do eventually go blind.
For early stage glaucoma, we prescribe medications in either pill or eye drop form. Both medications are designed to lower eye pressure. We also perform a surgical procedure called laser trabeculoplasty, an in-office procedure that involves draining fluid from the internal eye to lower intraocular pressure. This surgery is relatively risk-free and a good and effective treatment for glaucoma.
Our glaucoma specialists start with the above two methods, but if they are not successful, we suggest the more traditional surgery. Furthermore, sometimes patients are not good candidates for the laser procedure, so we perform a more conventional surgery. The surgeons create a new opening whereby the eye fluid can continuously drain to lower internal pressure. This procedure can have a higher infection risk, and can cause cataracts or other cornea problems.
Why Screening Is Crucial
While we can certainly provide these very effective treatments, regular eye screenings are still the best way to diagnose glaucoma. If you live or work in Shillington and it has been a while since your last eye exam, come see our experienced glaucoma specialist in Wyomissing, PA. Give us a call today at 610-378-8500 to come in for an initial free consultation.
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