Glaucoma

Eye Treatment Center

Board Certified Ophthalmologists & Optometrists located in Long Beach, CA

About half of the 3 million Americans living with glaucoma aren’t aware of their disease. Because glaucoma is often asymptomatic, it can slowly reduce your vision without you realizing it. The good news is that the ophthalmologists at Eye Treatment Center can diagnose glaucoma in its early form. This early detection is crucial for vision preservation, so don’t hesitate to call the Long Beach, California, office or use online booking anytime.

Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that slowly steals eyesight. It happens when your optic nerve is damaged and can't relay images to your brain. Because glaucoma doesn't generally cause symptoms, the best way to know whether you have the disease is regular eye exams at Eye Treatment Center. 

There are many types of glaucoma, but the most common is open-angle glaucoma. Usually, open-angle glaucoma causes high eye pressure, and it’s rare to experience symptoms of this type of the disease. 

Narrow-angle glaucoma, or closed-angle glaucoma, is an uncommon form of the disease that accounts for under 10% of all glaucoma cases. This kind of glaucoma is different from open-angle because it can cause obvious symptoms like eye inflammation, pain, and blurry vision. Certain medications, for example, antihistamines and antidepressants, can worsen narrow-angle glaucoma. 

What are the risk factors for glaucoma?

There are many glaucoma risk factors, including:

  • Heredity
  • Age (over 60, over 55 if African American)
  • Asian ancestry (narrow-angle glaucoma)
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Corticosteroid use
  • Eye trauma
  • High myopia (nearsightedness)
  • High hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Unusually thin corneas

If you fit into any of the high-risk categories, regular glaucoma screening is especially vital for you. Most insurance providers cover glaucoma screenings for high-risk patients.

What does glaucoma screening involve?

At some eye care practices, glaucoma screening is limited to an eye pressure check. But since many cases of glaucoma don’t involve high eye pressure, it’s important to do a careful inner-eye evaluation. The Eye Treatment Center team diagnoses and monitors your glaucoma using state-of-the-art technology, including:

  • Eye pressure measurement
  • Digital visual field testing
  • Gonioscopy: Drainage angle check 
  • Corneal thickness measurement
  • Electroretinograms (ERG) 
  • Optic nerve imaging

With the information gathered from these advanced tests, your Eye Treatment Center specialists can usually control the disease to preserve your vision.

What are the different treatments for glaucoma?

Treatment depends on your type of glaucoma and personal situation. 

Medication

You may initially take glaucoma medication to lower your eye pressure and slow disease progression. Glaucoma eye drops can be highly effective, but in some cases, they're not sufficient. Your Eye Treatment Center specialist may recommend laser glaucoma surgery in that case. 

Laser glaucoma surgery

Laser glaucoma surgery, such as selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), can reduce high eye pressure.  It may be used as first-line therapy for those patients who don’t want to use drops, or as an adjunctive treatment when eye drops aren’t sufficient to keep the pressure low. 

Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)

MIGS can include procedures like iStent Inject®, which restores healthy fluid drainage and reduces your eye pressure, or endocyclophotocoagulation, which decreases your eye fluid production to lower your eye pressure. If needed, your surgeon can perform MIGS at the same time as cataract surgery. 

Glaucoma implants

Glaucoma implants like the Xen® gel stent can reduce high eye pressure. Your Eye Treatment Center surgeon places the tiny tube-shaped implant inside your eye to make a new fluid drainage path and lower eye pressure. 

The highly experienced ophthalmology team includes a fellowship-trained glaucoma ophthalmologist who specializes in all of the latest and most advanced glaucoma care. Other surgery options may include canaloplasty, trabectome surgery, and transscleral cyclophotocoagulation, among others.

Get glaucoma screening, management, and treatment by calling Eye Treatment Center or booking online anytime.