Glaucoma

Eye Care Unlimited

Optometrists located in Bronx, NY

Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that, if left undetected and untreated, will impair your vision and can cause blindness. The optometrists at Eye Care Unlimited offer thorough eye health exams that can detect glaucoma early, which is critical to treatment of the disease. There is currently no cure for glaucoma, but there are many treatment options available that can slow the progression of the disease if properly managed.

Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Circulating eye fluid — known as aqueous humor — brings oxygen, nutrients, and healthy pressure to the eye.

Usually, an equal amount of this fluid is both produced in the eye and drained into the bloodstream. However, this essential drainage can be impaired, leading to fluid buildup and increased pressure in the eye.

Glaucoma is an eye disease where fluid buildup in the front of the eye damages the fibers of the optic nerve.

Glaucoma usually doesn’t cause pain or symptoms unless there is vision loss, which is why the experts at Eye Care Unlimited offer regular, comprehensive glaucoma testing for all patients at their practice.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?  

A complete eye exam, often combined with additional testing, is the best way to diagnose glaucoma. During a comprehensive eye exam, standard test include:

  • Applanation tonometry - to measure intraocular pressure
  • Gonioscopy - to exam the drainage angle
  • Ophthalmoscopy - through a dilated pupil, to examine the optic nerve
  • Visual field testing - to test peripheral vision

If there is suspicion that glaucoma may be present, additional testing may include:

  • Corneal pachymetry - to measure corneal thickness
  • Fundus Photography - of the retina
  • Optical coherence tomography - computerized imaging of the optic nerves and macula

When and how often should you be screened for glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a leading causes of blindness in the United States, estimated to affect approximately 2.5 million Americans. Since most forms of glaucoma are completely symptom free in early and moderate stages, early intervention and a yearly comprehensive eye examination is critical to the disease diagnosis and prevention.

The optometrists at Eye Care Unlimited may recommend more frequent testing for people with other risk factors for glaucoma, such as:

  • A family history of glaucoma
  • A history of increased eye pressure
  • African Americans
  • East Asian ancestry
  • Farsighted vision
  • A history of eye surgery or injury
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • People who take drugs containing steroids

How is glaucoma treated? 

Glaucoma is initially treated with eye drop medication to reduce the eye pressure. Different medications work by different mechanisms: some reduce fluid production, others increase fluid outflow. However, they must be used regularly, and missing a treatment can lead to elevated intraocular pressure and increased progression of the disease.

Another option for glaucoma treatment is a procedure known as selective laser trabeculoplasty surgery. The experts at Eye Care Unlimited use an in-office Lumenis® laser to reduce the intraocular pressure in your eye with a quick, noninvasive, and painless laser treatment. This surgery allows patients, in many cases, to reduce or even eliminate their use of prescribed Glaucoma eye drops.

Don’t let glaucoma damage your vision — call the expert optometrists and eye care professionals at Eye Care Unlimited today.