There are few health-related things you think of when you’re young— especially when it comes to your vision. However, as you age and your vision starts to diminish, you become much more aware of your visions current state and how to prevent it from getting worse. As you age, one of the eye conditions that you need to be on the lookout for is glaucoma.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and affects millions of people. If caught early on, the good news is that glaucoma can be treated. If it gets worse, however, there is no cure. So, what are the early signs of glaucoma? Let’s take a close look.
You wouldn’t be able to spot this sign on your own, but our doctors at Papale Eye Center ould. During your routine eye exam, we check you for a variety of different things including glaucoma. By measuring the pressure in your eyes, we can detect early signs of glaucoma. If it measures high, we will closely monitor the pressure in your eyes to make sure it’s not getting worse.
Sharp Eye Pain
Eye pain is not normal— especially if it’s sharp. If you get consistent sharp eye pains, then come into our Papale Eye Center to be tested. Although eye pain doesn’t exactly mean that you have glaucoma, it may be an indicator.
A headache after a night of restless sleep or a long day is fairly normal, but if you get strong, frequent headaches, this could be a sign of a variety of different vision problems including glaucoma.
These are just a few signs of glaucoma. If you have a family history of glaucoma or if you would like to be tested, schedule an eye examination at our Springfield office today: (413) 782-0030.
The unfortunate truth is that there is no cure yet for glaucoma. However, by getting regular glaucoma screenings, you can prevent it from getting worse and ultimately causing blindness. Depending on how severe your glaucoma is, we at Papale Eye Center offer our patients both surgical and non-surgical treatments. As one of our most popular surgical treatments, we offer a minimally/micro-invasive surgical implant (MIGS) to treat glaucoma. Read on to learn more.
What Is MIGS?
Glaucoma is caused when there is an excess amount of pressure on the eye. During a micro-invasive glaucoma surgery or MIGS, the intraocular pressure will be reduced by either reducing the production of pressure or increasing outflow of aqueous humor. By making small incisions in the cornea and using microscopic tools, one of the greatest benefits of MIGS is that minimal damage will be made to the surrounding scar tissue.
What Are the Different Types of MIGS?
Although there are four main categories of MIGS, we don’t offer all of these options here. The four types of MIGS include Microtrabeculectomies, Trabecular Surgery, and Suprachoroidal Shunts.
During this surgery, microscopic tubes are inserted into the eye to drain fluid from the conjunctiva.
By using a special contact lens, a small incision is made in the trabecular meshwork of the eye— allowing the surgeon to either destroy the meshwork of bypass it.
This surgery has very few complications and is effective at lowering the amount of pressure in the eye. By placing shunts in the eye, the fluid can effectively drain and get rid of the pressure.
During your initial consultation with your doctor at Papale Eye Center, you will go over your surgical options to decide if MIGS will benefit you. If you have glaucoma, our experts at Papale Eye Center can help reduce your intraocular eye pressure and find relief overall. To learn more about glaucoma or how to treat it, contact Papale Eye Center today!
At Papale Eye Center, the preservation of eye health is our top priority. By helping our patients to maintain good eye health, we can ensure that they are able to continue to enjoy clear, focused vision. Unfortunately, there are many conditions that threaten both the health and function of the eyes. Glaucoma is a condition in which fluid builds up in the eye, increasing intraocular pressure and, eventually, damaging the optic nerves to the point that vision is impaired. Without proper treatment, glaucoma can lead to irreparable damage. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults over the age of 40. Fortunately, there are treatments that can curtail the effects of glaucoma so that patients can continue to benefit from clear vision. One treatment offered by our team of doctors is SLT laser surgery. Contact our Springfield, MA practice to learn more about SLT laser treatment.
When to Seek Treatment for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a progressive eye condition that does not always result in noticeable side effects. Some patients can suffer from glaucoma for years before their vision is affected. Some of the most common symptoms of glaucoma include blurred vision, halos around sources of light, and blind spots. If any of these symptoms develop, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. However, once vision is lost, it is likely that glaucoma is already in its advanced stages. To avoid permanent damage from glaucoma, we recommend that patients maintain a schedule of routine eye exams (at least once every two years). These comprehensive exams are the best way to diagnose glaucoma so that treatment can start before a patient’s vision is compromised.
What Is SLT Laser Surgery?
SLT laser surgery is a common treatment for open-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the result of the eye’s inability to properly drain excess fluids. When the drainage tissues are not working properly, fluid builds up and increases the patient’s intraocular pressure. This increase of pressure can cause permanent damage to the optic nerves. If the optic nerves are damaged, they cannot send proper signals to the brain. SLT laser surgery addresses problems with the drainage tissues to decrease intraocular pressure.
During SLT laser surgery, laser energy is applied directly to the drainage tissues of the eye. This energy is absorbed by the drainage tissues and, over time, causes a chemical reaction that improves the tissues’ abilities to drain fluids from the eyes. SLT, or selective laser trabeculoplasty, uses a laser that has minimal heat absorption. This type of laser is only absorbed by selected tissues in the eye. This technique is low risk and results in minimal side effects, as well as a short recovery period.
The improvements of the eye’s drainage tissues are gradual, so patients should not expect immediate results. However, within one to three months after surgery, results should begin to become noticeable. Most patients who undergo SLT surgery see a 30 percent decrease in intraocular pressure. While the results of SLT are not permanent, they should last between one and five years. This allows patients to slow the progression of glaucoma while continuing to enjoy clear vision.
At Papale Eye Center, our team of experienced eye doctors offer a comprehensive range of treatments for the most common conditions that impact eye health and vision. To learn more about SLT surgery for glaucoma or any of our other beneficial eye services, contact us at your earliest convenience.
Here at Papale Eye Center, we always attempt to work conservatively when it comes to addressing serious vision problems. The people of Springfield deserve excellent eye care, and that tends to mean working in a manner that assesses a situation and then acts appropriately.
If we are able to diagnose or detect glaucoma early, the ideal treatment will typically involve the use of medications in combination with lifestyle improvements. Let’s take a broad look at the medications commonly used to treat glaucoma.
Glaucoma is one of the most serious forms of permanent vision loss that a person can face. The condition is caused by an increase in intraocular pressure that results in damage to the optic nerve. The effects of glaucoma are irreversible, so treatments for the condition are predominantly aimed at slowing the rate of vision loss or maintaining current vision.
Eye drops are the most common kinds of medications used to treat glaucoma, but oral medications can also be used to address the condition. Let’s look at some of the common medication types.
Alpha agonists are used to help increase the drainage of fluid within a person’s eye. This drug will also help reduce the amount of fluid produced by the eye. While generic versions of these drugs are available, they are marketed under the brand names Alphagan and Propine.
Potential side effects of alpha agonists include:
Reduced heart rate
Lower blood pressure
Shortness of breath
The second most common kind of glaucoma medication, beta blockers are used to decrease the amount of fluid within your eyes. Generic beta blockers are available, though they are marketed under the brand names Timoptic, Betagan, Betimol, and Ocupress.
Potential side effects of beta blockers include:
Reduced heart rate
Lower blood pressure
Shortness of breath
Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors (CAIs)
Like beta blockers, CAIs are used in order to reduce the production of intraocular fluid. CAIs are available in both pill form and eye drop form, and they are marketed under the names Azopt, Diamox, and Trusopt.
Potential side effects of carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) include:
Itchiness and stinging in the eyes (eye drop form)
Upset stomach (pill form)
Depression (pill form)
Tingling hands (pill form)
Tingling feet (pill form)
Frequent need to urinate (pill form)
Prostaglandin analogs are taken in order to improve the outflow of fluid from a person’s eyes. Available in generic form like all of the drugs listed, prostaglandin analogs are marketed under the brand names Lumigan, Travatan, and Xalatan.
Potential side effects of prostaglandin analogs include:
Changes in eye color
Changes in skin color of the eyelids
Burning sensation of eyes
When a single glaucoma medication is not enough to improve overall wellness and results, it’s not uncommon for combinations of glaucoma medications to be used. The ideal combination of medications can be discussed in greater detail during your consultation at the practice.
Learn More About Treating Glaucoma
For more information about glaucoma and how it can be treated effectively, be sure to contact our advanced vision correction center today. The team here at Papale Eye Center looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve good eyesight and maintain total wellness.
The team at Papale Eye Center has helped countless people in and around Springfield achieve excellent vision and maintain healthy eyes. This is part of our focus on regular screenings and exams to ensure early detection. These are important considerations when it comes to glaucoma, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.
Let’s take a moment to consider what glaucoma is, what signs and symptoms people should note, and some risk factors that people should be aware of.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible vision loss in the world. The condition occurs when the increased pressure within the eye causes damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is an irreversible condition, unfortunately, but early detection and treatment will help slow the vision loss and preserve the patient’s vision in the process.
Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma
The most common signs and symptoms of open-angle glaucoma include:
Blind spots in central vision (often in both eyes)
Blind spots in peripheral vision (often in both eyes)
The most common signs and symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma include:
Nausea and vomiting
A Family History of Glaucoma
If other members of your family have suffered from glaucoma, particularly a parent or grandparent, there is a greater risk of developing glaucoma later in life.
Glaucoma is more commonly diagnosed in people who are older. In particular, people who are 60 or older experience a higher risk for glaucoma.
Race and Ethnic Background
Studies have found that people of certain ethnic backgrounds are more likely to suffer from glaucoma. Particular groups at risk include people of the following backgrounds:
Previous Eye Injury
Suffering a serious eye injury in the past can result in problems with overall eye health. Not only are cataracts more likely, but glaucoma risk similarly increases.
Prior Eye Surgery
In addition to eye injuries, prior eye surgeries can also increase your risk of various eye problems, including glaucoma. This risk will likely be mentioned as part of the pre-op consultation process.
Certain Medical Conditions
A number of medical conditions can increase the pressure within the eyes. Conditions that raise intraocular pressure include
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Steroid use can lead to a whole host of serious health problems, including an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Some studies say that people who use steroids are up to 40 percent more likely to develop glaucoma.
The corneas are the thin, transparent front portion of the eye. Light passes through the corneas on the way to the retinas. When you have corneas that are especially thin, this can lead to an increased risk of glaucoma.
Nearsightedness and Farsightedness
When someone has high-degree nearsightedness (myopia) or general farsightedness (hyperopia), they tend to experience a greater risk of developing glaucoma later in life.
Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly
The best way to have glaucoma diagnosed as soon as possible is to regularly visit your eye doctor. Regular checkups can mean early detection and retention of overall vision in the long run.
Schedule a Consultation at Papale Eye Center
For more information about glaucoma and how it can be properly treated, be sure to contact our eye care and vision correction center today. The team at Papale Eye Center will help you achieve great vision and healthy eyesight.