Central Carolina Surgical Eye Associates, P.A.
What Is Glaucoma?
To understand exactly what glaucoma is, it is best to explain a little about the eye itself. The eye continually makes fluid behind the iris (the colored part or the eye). This fluid drains through a meshwork that circles the inside of the eye in front of the iris.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs when this fluid is prevented by a blockage from draining from the eye. This results in pressure building up inside the eye that can damage the optic nerve, which is in the back of the eye. It is the optic nerve that carries all the visual information (everything you see) to the brain. If glaucoma is not treated, the end result may be blindess.
There are two main types of glaucoma. The acute type of glaucoma is caused by the iris of the eye suddenly blocking the drainage of fluid from the eye. This sudden increase in pressure results in severe pain, halos around lights, and decreased vision.
A much more common type is chronic glaucoma in which increased eye pressure slowly and painlessly results in loss of side vision, and if not treated, may lead to total loss of vision.
What Is The Treatment For Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is treated by putting drops in your eyes one to four times a day. This is usually effective in controlling the pressure in the eye. Other times, however, it may be necessary for you to take prescribed pills to help control the pressure. There are some occasions when the pressure cannot be controlled by medication alone. In those cases, it may be necessary for your ophthalmologist to perform laser surgery or another surgical procedure. It is important for you to know: because glaucoma can be controlled, but not cured, periodic dilated eye examinations are necessary.
What Is Laser Surgery?
The laser is a highly concentrated beam of light that can be precisely aimed to treat glaucoma. In acute glaucoma, the laser is focused on the iris to make a tiny hole for the fluid to drain from the eye. In chronic glaucoma, the laser is focused on the drain of the eye itself to help fluid drain more easily from the eye. Because the laser can be controlled so exactly, it is both safe and reliable. This in-office procedure takes about five minutes and causes no pain