in Murray, KY
At Jarvis Vision Center, our expert eye doctors, Dr. Reed Jarvis and Dr. Jesse Williams, use some of the latest diagnostic tools and tailor their treatment plans to each patient so that we can provide the best prevention and protection for anyone who comes to us.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of conditions where internal pressure builds within the eye, usually from fluid buildup and lack of drainage, which can cause damage to your optic nerve.
The optic nerve is the part of your eye that sends the images you see to your brain. However, when there’s an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP) within your eye, it puts undue strain on the optic nerve, causing damage and even irreversible vision loss.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in adults over 60. While we can detect glaucoma in its earliest stages with our diagnostic equipment, it often has no obvious symptoms before permanent damage is done, hence the nickname “the silent thief of sight.”
Types of Glaucoma:
Open-Angle and Angle-Closure
Glaucoma comes in two main types: open-angle and angle-closure.
Open-angle glaucoma is the more common of the two, accounting for roughly 90% of all cases of glaucoma. Drainage canals within the eye can slowly become clogged over time, creating an “open angle” between the iris and cornea. This form typically takes years to develop, but late-term symptoms like minor blind spots or tunnel vision are generally permanent.
Angle-closure glaucoma describes when drainage canals become more suddenly blocked, leaving a “closed angle” between the iris and cornea. This sudden lack of drainage leads to an equally rapid rise in IOP. More immediate and intense symptoms like headache, pain, and nausea will occur, coupled with blurry vision, halos around lights, and vision loss.
Causes & Risk Factors
Eyecare professionals don’t currently know exactly when or why someone will develop glaucoma, but we have found these potential risk factors:
- Being over the age of 60
- Ethnic backgrounds, including African, Black Caribbean, Hispanic, or Asian
- Family history of glaucoma
- Personal history of eye conditions, injuries, or surgeries
- Chronic blood flow conditions such as migraines, diabetes, low blood pressure, and hypertension
- Myopia (nearsightedness), which creates a greater risk for open-angle glaucoma
- Hyperopia (farsightedness), which creates a higher risk for angle-closure glaucoma
There are also a few factors within your control. It’s been found that reducing or eliminating your use of corticosteroid products, or quitting smoking, can help prevent glaucoma from developing.
at Jarvis Vision Center
In everything we do, we strive to craft customized treatment plans and optimal solutions for our patients, and our glaucoma management is no different. To ensure that we fully understand your unique case, we’ve adopted advanced technology that can:
- Precisely measure your IOP
- Take detailed images of the back of your eye
- Test your central and peripheral vision
- Evaluate the health of your retina
- Measure the function of your full vision system
Once we have a clear picture of your eyes, we can move forward with a strategy to manage or treat your case.
Medicated Eye Drops
We’ll almost always start with medicated eye drops, which can help reduce IOP and are often the only treatment our patients need for their glaucoma management. These prescription drops can lower IOP when used as directed, providing a simple management option.
SLT (In-Office Laser Treatment)
For more worrying cases, we may turn to in-office selective laser trabeculoplasty, or “SLT”. This fast and safe procedure carefully creates new and improved passageways in the eye’s drainage system, which increases flow and relieves pressure. SLT is sometimes combined with medicated drops to increase effects of treatment.
Surgery Co-Management & Consult
In the most severe cases, we’ll connect you with a trusted local glaucoma specialist. We’ll still play an integral role in your care — we provide surgical consultations and co-management to ensure your glaucoma specialist understands your case as well as we do. We’ll make sure you’re taken care of.