Glaucoma is the most prevalent cause of permanent blindness among older adults. Regular eye exams and preventive medical care can help you preserve your vision and avoid severe complications. Stephen M. Wolchok MD is an eye specialist who has years of experience treating different types of glaucoma. If you suspect that you have glaucoma, do not hesitate to contact him.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma refers to a collection of eye disorders that destroy your optic nerve, essential for good vision. This damage usually occurs due to extremely high pressure in the eye. If glaucoma is left untreated, it can cause blindness, especially among older adults. Glaucoma can affect people of all ages, but it is more prevalent in older adults. Most cases of glaucoma rarely cause any symptoms and are difficult to detect while in their early stages. Most forms are noticeable once they are at an advanced stage. The professional team recommends regular eye check-ups for early detection and treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is categorized into two:
- Primary open-angle glaucoma
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most prevalent form of glaucoma. This disorder occurs when there is an excessive amount of fluid in your eye, known as aqueous humor. Balanced levels of aqueous humor provide your eyes with the necessary nutrients. The liquid usually moves out through a tiny drainage system known as a trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is located at the drainage angle. If fluid accumulates in the drainage angle, your inner eye pressure increases, damaging your optic nerve.
- Acute angle-closure glaucoma
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is the rarest form of glaucoma that develops when your iris bulges nearing your drainage angle, causing sudden blockages. This disorder often occurs in intermittent attacks, considered to be medical emergencies.
How can you know that you have glaucoma?
Primary open-angle glaucoma develops gradually and does not cause any discomfort, but it cases gradual loss in peripheral vision over time. If your case is severe, you may develop tunnel vision. Acute angle-closure glaucoma on the hand may cause the following symptoms during the sudden attacks:
- Eye pain
- Red eyes
- Sudden severe headaches
- Halos surrounding light
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms.
What are the available treatment options for glaucoma?
The professional team at Wolchok Eye Associates has cutting-edge diagnostic tools and effective treatments to help you preserve your eyesight and prevent other complications. All treatments aim at lowering your eye pressure, reducing optic nerve damage eventually. Some of the available treatments include:
- Laser surgery
During the trabeculoplasty procedure for primary open-angle glaucoma, your provider uses a laser to open up your drainage angle. He may use iridotomy to correct acute angle-closure glaucoma by creating a pinhole in your iris to improve drainage.
Dr. Wolchok may recommend daily eye drops to reduce aqueous humor production and improve drainage.
- Surgical procedures
If medications and laser surgery are ineffective, Dr. Wolchok may recommend surgery, which involves creating a new drainage system for your aqueous humor.
He discusses the available treatments and recommends the most effective option for you. For more information about glaucoma, call Dr. Wolchok or make an appointment online.