Eye Consultants of Colorado

Glaucoma Testing & Management in Conifer

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Glaucoma Testing & Management in Conifer

Glaucoma is often called the “silent thief of sight” because of how it develops and progresses. It is typically initially asymptomatic and can cause significant vision loss by the time it is detected. The only way to properly detect and treat developing glaucoma is with regular eye exams.

There are several causes of glaucoma, though the most prevalent is when your eye produces more fluid than is drained. This fluid raises your eye pressure, which can damage your optic nerve over time. Glaucoma can also be caused by other conditions and eye diseases, such as diabetic eye disease or prolonged use of steroid therapy.

Types of Glaucoma

Glaucoma has many forms, though open-angle glaucoma is the most common variant of it. Below are some, but not all, types of glaucoma:

Open-angle glaucoma reduces your peripheral vision, usually without other symptoms. This is the most common type of glaucoma.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma, also called “narrow-angle glaucoma” or “closed-angle glaucoma,” produces sudden symptoms (eye pain, headaches, vision loss, nausea, vomiting). These symptoms are a medical emergency. Please see us immediately if you are experiencing them.

Normal-tension glaucoma, also known as “low-tension” or “low-pressure” glaucoma, is a type of glaucoma that occurs despite normal eye pressure. Its cause is not currently known.

Pigmentary glaucoma is a rare form of glaucoma. It occurs when the drainage angle in your eye becomes clogged by pigment detached from the iris. Your body generally induces an inflammatory response, blocking the drainage system.

80% of congenital glaucoma cases are diagnosed by age 1. Present since birth, congenital glaucoma is the result of some defect within the eye drainage system.

Testing for Glaucoma

A comprehensive eye exam checks for glaucoma using a few different tests:

  • Visual acuity test: Measures how well you see at various distances.
  • Visual field test: Measures your peripheral vision.
  • Dilated exam: Eye drops dilate your pupils, and, once open, your retina and optic nerve are checked for signs of damage.
  • Tonometry: Tests your internal eye pressure. Numbing drops are used before this test, as the tonometer makes contact with your eye.
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT): Measures the optic nerve and checks for signs of damage.

Treating Glaucoma

The most common treatment for glaucoma uses medicated eye drops to lower your eye pressure. They do this by reducing the amount of fluid your eyes create and increasing the amount of fluid drained.

Surgical treatments include:

  • Laser trabeculoplasty: Used to treat open-angle glaucoma. It has two variants: argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) and selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). Both types of surgery lower eye pressure by helping the drainage system work better.
  • Laser iridotomy: Used to treat chronic angle-closure glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma. A small hole (roughly the size of a pinhead) is created in the iris using a laser. This lets aqueous fluid drain through the drainage angle.
  • Peripheral iridectomy: Used to treat closed-angle glaucoma when traditional medications or laser iridotomy did not work. This procedure removes a small piece of the iris, enabling the aqueous fluid to drain via the drainage canal. This surgery is rarely performed because of the high degree of success of traditional and laser treatments.
  • Trabeculectomy: Used to treat open-angle glaucoma and chronic closed-angle glaucoma. A small flap is created in the sclera, and a filtration reservoir (called a bleb) is made under the conjunctiva. Your eyelid usually covers this bleb. The bleb allows your aqueous humor to drain, where it is absorbed into blood vessels around the eye.
  • Aqueous shunt surgery: Used to treat congenital glaucoma, neovascular glaucoma, and traumatic glaucoma. A drainage device, called an aqueous shunt, is placed in the conjunctiva via a small incision. This enables fluid to drain from the eye, where it is then absorbed by surrounding blood vessels. It cannot be seen in most circumstances.

Catch the Silent Thief & Protect Your Vision

If you run the risk of developing glaucoma, ensure your eyes are getting the protection it deserves, and book your appointment today!

Our Location

Visit our award-winning location today! You can find our practice right on Main Street, next to Safeway. We offer ample free parking with accessibility options for our patients.

Our Address

Suite 220, 27122 Main Street
Conifer, CO 80433

Contact

Phone: (720) 410-5325

Hours

Mondays
8 AM5 PM
Tuesdays
12 PM7 PM
Wednesdays
8 AM7 PM
Thursdays
8 AM3 PM
Fridays
8 AM3 PM
Saturdays
Closed
Sundays
Closed

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