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Glaucoma Treatment in Brookfield

optometry corneal topographer

Glaucoma Treatment

“Glaucoma” refers to the presence of fluid build-up in the front part of the eye that leads to an increase in pressure. As such, it is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve of the eye. Unfortunately, it produces no symptoms during its early stages, leading to half of people with glaucoma not even knowing they have it. Due to its prevalence, The Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield offers glaucoma treatment and a variety of care services and treatments to address this issue. We strongly believe in regular eye exams in order to catch such diseases as glaucoma as early as possible.  

What Causes Glaucoma?

Simply put, if your eye’s drainage system is not working properly, fluid will begin to build up in the eye, leading to glaucoma. All eyes consistently produce aqueous humor, which is a clear liquid. When it is functioning properly, the eye will drain out the same amount of aqueous fluid that flows into it. However, if the drainage angle is not functioning properly, fluid will build up and lead to increased pressure inside the eye. This pressure leads to optic nerve damage.

Types Of Glaucoma

While it is a relatively straightforward disease, glaucoma does come in two major types, each caused by slightly different situations and occurrences in the eye. 

Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs gradually as the eye continues to fail at properly draining fluid, leading to a clog. This clog leads to a build up of pressure against the eye, which over time causes damage to the optic nerve. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It initially causes no changes to vision and is painless. 

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs when the iris is in close proximity to the eye’s drainage angle. In these cases, the iris can eventually start blocking the drainage angle. When the drainage angle is eventually completely blocked, eye pressure starts to rise rapidly. When this happens, it is a true eye emergency for which you will want to call The Holtebeck Eye Center immediately. 

Signs of an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack:

Sudden onset of blurred visions
Severe eye pain
Vision disruptions, including the presence of rainbow-colored rings or halos  

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

Glaucoma requires a professional diagnosis from an eye doctor. During a complete eye exam, Dr. Holtebeck will measure your eye pressure, inspect your eye’s drainage angle, examine your optic nerve for damage, and test your peripheral vision. Additionally, our technicians will take a picture or computer-generated measurement of your optic nerve as well as measure the thickness of your cornea. All of these pieces of data will help Dr. Holtebeck assess and diagnose your eye health and determine if you have glaucoma. 

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

Unfortunately, glaucoma cannot be reversed and is a permanent condition. However, it is treatable through medicine and surgery, which can help to stop the development of further damage to your optic nerve. At The Holtebeck Eye Center, we offer medication, laser surgery, and operating room surgery as options for addressing glaucoma in our patients with our goal always being to protect the eye from incurring further damage. 

Your Role In Glaucoma Treatment

Successfully treating glaucoma requires a joint effort between you and Dr. Holtebeck. That means that if you have questions or concerns about your eye health, you will want to make an appointment with Dr. Holtebeck as soon as possible. The whole team at The Holtebeck Eye Center is committed to protecting your sight. 

Contact us today to learn more about our glaucoma treatment and care services, and to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Glaucoma occurs when the normal pressure inside the eyes (intraocular pressure, or IOP) increases because fluid, which usually flows in and out of the eye, is unable to drain. This buildup damages the optic nerve, the structure responsible for sending visual signals from your eyes to your brain.

In most cases of chronic glaucoma, there are no symptoms before it has slowly progressed to a later stage. At that point, patients may notice loss of peripheral vision, though many do not. Since early warning signs chronic of glaucoma are rare, medical eye examinations every 1-2 years are crucial.

On the other hand, patients with acute angle closure whose IOP rises quickly may experience severe symptoms, such as:

  • Blurred vision, especially at night
  • Halos around lights
  • Severe headaches or eye pain
  • Nausea

If you experience any of these glaucoma symptoms, consult your eye doctor immediately.

Glaucoma generally affects adults over the age of 40, but studies show individuals at greater risk for glaucoma include those who:

  • Are over the age of 60
  • Have a family history of the disease, elevated intraocular pressure
  • Are African-American over the age of 40
  • Are Asian
  • Are Hispanic over the age of 60
  • Have diabetes or hypertension
  • Are very nearsighted or farsighted
  • Are steroid users
  • Have had an eye injury

To help detect glaucoma in its early stages, the Holtebeck Eye Center operates within a sophisticated, state-of-the-art diagnostic facility. Your comprehensive glaucoma screening combines various non-invasive tests (computerized visual field testing, optic nerve imaging, blood flow measurement, and other advanced imaging techniques) to deliver the most accurate assessment.

Your screening may include the following:

  • Tonometry: To measure internal eye pressure
  • Visual Field: To check for vision loss in peripheral (side) vision
  • Spectral Domain OCT: To precisely measure the retinal nerve fiber layer and monitor/detect optic nerve loss
  • Optic Disc Photography: To document the severity of nerve damage and monitor changes
  • Pachymetry: To measure cornea thickness, which can affect eye pressure readings
  • Gonioscopy: To examine the eye’s drainage angle

There are several treatment options for glaucoma, including everything from medicine (eye drops and topical/oral medications) to various types of eye surgery, described below:

  • Laser Therapy: An outpatient procedure in which the surgeon uses a gentle laser to open clogged channels and release fluid build-up within in the eye
  • Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS): A less invasive treatment option designed to use microscopic equipment and tiny incisions to lower eye pressure and prevent progression for certain types of glaucoma.

MIGS is a gentle glaucoma treatment option developed to lower eye pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma. While there is no cure for glaucoma, MIGS can greatly decrease glaucoma medications, slow disease progression, and delay the need for other surgical intervention.

Several MIGS options include:

  • OMNI procedure
  • Ab-Interno Canaloplasty
  • iStent
  • iStent inject
  • Endoscopic CycloPhotocoagulation (ECP)

MIGS may also be performed at the same time as cataract surgery, allowing many to achieve clearer vision and decrease IOP in one convenient procedure.

To find out if MIGS may be right for you, contact our office today.