This subspecialty includes the treatment of glaucoma and
other disorders that may cause optic nerve damage by increasing intraocular
pressure. Although early and uncomplicated cases are typically cared for by a
qualified comprehensive ophthalmologist, our Fellowship-Trained Glaucoma
Subspecialists, oversee the medical and surgical treatment of complicated cases
of glaucoma in pediatric and adult patients.
More than 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older have
glaucoma. Half as many may be unaware they have this potentially blinding
disease because they have no symptoms.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve is
damaged. It can be associated with elevated pressure inside the eye and can lead
to vision loss.
The exact cause of primary open-angle glaucoma, the most
common form of the disease, is uncertain. However, some other forms of glaucoma
may occur along with other abnormalities of the eye.
There are usually no symptoms at first, but as the
disease progresses, a person with glaucoma may note visual symptoms, such as
peripheral vision deficiencies. Symptoms for acute glaucoma crises are different
and may include pain in the eye, haloes around lights, rapid onset of markedly
decreased vision, among others.
Anyone can develop glaucoma. Those who are at higher risk
and should have an eye exam at least every one to two years include:
African Americans over age 40
Individuals over age 60
People with a family history of glaucoma
Individuals that have experienced a serious eye injury
People with other health conditions, such as diabetes (exam every year)
cannot be cured, early detection and treatment can usually preserve vision. An
Ophthalmologist (MD or DO), especially a Glaucoma Specialist, can help control
glaucoma by lowering intraocular pressure with eye drops, laser treatments or
surgery. However, vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be restored and, if left
untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.