Summit Eye Center Blog

3 Facts to Know About Glaucoma

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It is Glaucoma Week. As a result, this week’s blog will feature three facts you should know about glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a progressive disease of the optic nerve that can lead to vision loss or blindness. The optic nerve is a bundle of over one million nerve fibers that transports our visual information from the eye to the back of the brain where it is processed. In the early stages of glaucoma, there are often no visual symptoms. This has led to it being called “the silent thief of sight”. Studies have shown that up to half of the nerve tissue needs to be damaged before changes are noted in one’s vision. Unfortunately, once damage occurs, it is permanent. Thus, early detection is critical to preserving one’s vision. A dilated eye exam is critical to early detection. Some studies show that as many as 50% of those with glaucoma are unaware that they have glaucoma.

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Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty...What do you need to know as a patient?

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Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, SLT, is a laser procedure that is used to lower intraocular pressure, IOP, in patients with glaucoma. It can be used as an initial treatment for glaucoma or in conjunction with medication eye drops.

With SLT, the laser energy is applied to the drainage tissue in the eye, the trabecular meshwork. A biological change is induced in this tissue that allows better drainage of fluid through the tissue and out of the eye. The increased drainage results in a lowering of IOP. It may take 1-3 months to obtain the maximum result.

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Glaucoma Treatment

Damage to one’s vision from glaucoma cannot be reversed. The goal of glaucoma treatment is to slow and hopefully halt the progression of the damage. There are numerous treatment options available today.

Glaucoma is treated by lowering the pressure within the eye. This is accomplished by increasing the outflow of fluid from within the eye or slowing the production of fluid within the eye. The doctor will determine what eye pressure is appropriate for each individual patient based on the stage of disease the patient has, the level of eye pressure when they presented with glaucoma, as well as other factors.

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is what carries the visual information from our eyes to the back of the brain where it is processed into the images that we see. This damage occurs from a combination of pressure from within the eye pushing on the optic nerve and hampered blood flow to the optic nerve.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over the age of 60. Although glaucoma can occur at any age, its incidence increases as one ages.

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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Often called the “silent thief of sight”, glaucoma usually presents with no symptoms to make the patient aware they have a problem until permanent damage occurs. Because of this yearly, dilated eye examinations are critical in diagnosing the disease early in patients, with the hope of preventing damage that impacts one’s lifestyle. If it has been over a year since your last dilated eye exam, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to have your eye dilated.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma. Of those, only half know it due to its lack of symptoms early on. Everyone is at risk of developing glaucoma. The following groups are at an increased risk.

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Hydrus Microstent: A New Approach to Glaucoma Treatment

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Summit Eye Center strives to provide the latest treatment options to our patients. Yesterday, Dr. Skelsey performed his first Hydrus Microstent procedures. In doing so, our patients are among the first in the Midwest to receive this innovative glaucoma treatment.

The Hydrus Microstent is the world’s first “intracanalicular scaffold” for the treatment of glaucoma. Roughly the size of an eyelash, it is made from a super-elastic, biocompatible alloy, which has been used in over 1 million implants in a variety of medical devices throughout the body.

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New Glaucoma Treatment at Summit Eye Center

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Summit Eye Center continues to provide the most current treatment options to our patients with Dr. Skelsey’s first Glaukos iStent inject cases being preformed last week. In doing so, our patients are among the first in the Midwest to receive this exciting new glaucoma treatment.

The iStent inject is the smallest medical device known to be implanted in the human body. It is a heparin coated titanium stent that facilitates the outflow of fluid through the eye’s natural outflow pathway. With this procedure, two stents are placed in the eye in conjunction with traditional cataract surgery.

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