Glaucoma Surgery Can Improve Impaired Vision
If you are currently experiencing eye pain, followed by peripheral vision loss, sensitivity to light, and blurriness, it is highly possible you may have glaucoma. Although this eye condition is chronic, it can be managed with conservative or more aggressive treatment methods, such as glaucoma surgery. Untreated glaucoma can result in permanent vision loss and blindness. Catching it in its earliest stages will help manage side effects and delay its progression.
Glaucoma is caused by the buildup of intraocular pressure. When this occurs, it can severely damage the optic nerve, preventing its ability to operate properly. Located in the back of the eye, the optic nerve is what your retina uses to communicate with your brain. When functioning properly, the nerve transmits visual information via electrical impulses to your brain and then interprets them as images. This nerve plays a vital role in your vision. Once intraocular pressure begins building, it will only continue to worsen with time, if treatment is not administered or more conservative methods are not strong enough.
At Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry in La Jolla, CA, we will perform a detailed eye exam to determine whether glaucoma surgery is right for you.
Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma
The most common side effects of glaucoma include:
- Frequent headaches
- Eye pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Peripheral vision loss
- Loss of central vision
When to Consider Glaucoma Surgery
If more conservative methods, such as medicated eye drops or oral medications, have failed to reduce intraocular pressure and fluid retention, it may be time to consider glaucoma surgery. This will not only aid in alleviating eye pressure, but can also help improve your vision.
Glaucoma surgery can be performed with laser technology or by making a small incision in the eye. The severity of your glaucoma will depend on which treatment method is recommended for you. Unless eye pressure is severe or the optic nerve is critically damaged, laser surgery is generally recommended as a first line of defense.
During laser surgery, numbing drops will be placed in your eyes. Once you are comfortable, the laser technology will apply a focused beam of light to reduce eye tissue and improve fluid flow within the eye’s trabecular meshwork (drainage system). Generating proper flow can alleviate eye pressure by about 70 percent.
When laser surgery is insufficient, incisional surgery is recommended. This procedure is performed with local anesthesia and relaxing medications, in addition to eye injections intended to stabilize the eye. Once you are comfortable, a small drainage hole can be placed within the white part of the eye using a special surgical tool. This procedure is designed to reduce eye pressure by bypassing fluid flow through a new outlet. It offers about a 70 to 90 percent success rate.
If you are suffering from any of the side effects above, it’s important to schedule an eye exam with us as quickly as possible. Doing so can protect your long-term vision. Contact our office today online to meet with one of our optometrists.