Symptoms and Signs
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye disorders that usually have few or no initial symptoms and eventually cause harm to the optic nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain. In most cases, glaucoma is associated with higher-than -normal pressure inside the eye (ocular hypertension). If untreated or uncontrolled, glaucoma first causes peripheral vision loss and eventually can lead to blindness.
Glaucoma has been referred to as the "sneak thief of sight" since vision loss occurs overs many years without any obvious symptoms until late in the disease process. Routine eye exams are imperative to detect glaucoma in its early stages and therapy can started to prevent loss of vision. Normal eye pressure is between 10 and 21 mmHg. If eye pressure is above 21 mmHg then damage can occur to the optic nerve. Peripheral vision is lost in the early and moderate stages of glaucoma but if not treated glaucoma can result in total blindness. Risk factors for glaucoma include high eye pressure, family history of glaucoma, African-American heritage, diabetes, near-sightedness, age greater than forty and high blood pressure.
If detected in its early stages glaucoma can usually be controlled with medications- typically in the form of eye drops. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of eye medications available to treat glaucoma. If medications are not effective the next option is usually laser surgery. This surgery is call laser trabeculoplasty and is performed in the office. Trabeculoplasty is a safe, non-invasive procedure that takes less than five minutes.
If medications and laser surgery are not successful then incisional surgery in the operating room might be necessary. This surgery is termed trabeculoplasty and involves the formation of a drainage filter in the eye to reduce eye pressure. Surgery itself takes less than twenty minutes is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia.
We are well qualified for all your glaucoma needs. Dr. Teague was the first fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist in the Big Country. Dr. Teague performs every variety of glaucoma surgery.