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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

It is estimated that, currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030; a significant increase.

At Eye Medical Clinic, we are committed to educating our patients about this sight-stealing disease and providing the latest glaucoma treatments and management strategies.

All About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is called “the silent thief of sight” since there are typically no symptoms, and once vision is lost, it cannot be reversed. Glaucoma, in fact, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is even more prevalent.

Over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.

Glaucoma comes in many different forms, but the two main types are open-angle and angle-closure. Both are marked by increased pressure within the eye. Open-angle glaucoma is far more common, accounting for more than 90 percent of diagnosed cases.

Glaucoma Treatments at Eye Medical Clinic

The goal of glaucoma treatment at Eye Medical Clinic is to preserve your current level of vision and to prevent any further vision loss. Treatment can vary, depending on the type of glaucoma diagnosed, the degree to which the condition has progressed, your underlying risk factors and other variables.

Glaucoma is more complex than most people understand. For this reason, it’s so important to choose a trusted and experienced doctor for your glaucoma management. For most patients with glaucoma, medication alone (eye drops) will be enough to control eye pressure. In some cases, several medications working together are necessary to maintain adequate pressure control. When medical treatment alone fails to sufficiently reduce the pressure, surgery is another option.

Glaucoma treatment options include:

MLT (Micropulse Laser trabeculoplasty)

MLT is a form of laser surgery that is used to lower intraocular pressure in open-angle glaucoma. It is used when eye drop medications are not lowering the eye pressure enough or are causing unwanted side effects. MLT can be performed as an outpatient procedure at Eye Medical Clinic, has very little downtime and most patients report little to no discomfort.

LPI (LASER PERIPHERAL IRIDOTOMY)

Laser peripheral iridotomy is a standard first-line treatment in closed-angle glaucoma. The procedure creates a tiny hole in the outer edge of the iris, leading to an opening of the angle in the majority of cases. After the angle is widened from the procedure, the trabecular meshwork (which directs fluid out of the eye) is exposed and fluid outflow is enhanced.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

MIGS lower eye pressure in a much safer manner with rapid recovery and minimal restrictions. Instead of creating an artificial drain in the eye, they unclog the natural drainage system of the eye and enhance drainage.
Eye Medical Clinic is pleased to offer the revolutionary iStent Microstent. The tiny iStent is placed in the eye during cataract surgery, saving patients time and money! The device is so small, it can’t be felt. In other words, you won’t even know it’s there! iStent can effectively lower eye pressure by improving the outflow of fluid from the eyes.

There are several advantages offered by the MIGS procedures like iStent. They are minimally invasive, nonpenetrating procedures that do not create a permanent opening in the wall of the eye. Additionally, most can be performed either as stand-alone procedures or at the time of cataract surgery with similar recovery, postoperative drop regimen and restrictions of activity as cataract surgery alone.

A large majority of patients can not only achieve independence from glasses but minimize or eliminate/minimize glaucoma eye drops.

See Every Moment with the Vision You Deserve

At Eye Medical Clinic, our board-certified ophthalmologists have the training and experience to treat your glaucoma safely and effectively. After careful evaluation of the type and severity of your glaucoma, age, lifestyle and a host of other factors, we will recommend a personalized treatment plan that is customized for your individual needs. Schedule an appointment today.

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