Glaucoma Management and Treatment
Glaucoma: refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain.
In many cases, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in the eye, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP).
- Elevated internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure): If your intraocular pressure is higher than normal, you’re at increased risk of developing glaucoma, though not everyone with elevated intraocular pressure develops the disease.
- Age: Everyone older than 60 is at increased risk of glaucoma. For certain population groups such as African-Americans, however, the risk is much higher and occurs at a younger age than that of the average population. If you’re African-American, ask your doctor when you should start having regular comprehensive eye exams.
- Ethnic background: African-Americans are five times more likely to get glaucoma than are Caucasians, and they’re much more likely to experience permanent blindness as a result. Mexican-Americans and Asian-Americans also face an increased risk.
- Family history of glaucoma: If you have a family history of glaucoma, you have a much greater risk of developing it. Glaucoma may have a genetic link, meaning there’s a defect in one or more genes that may cause certain individuals to be unusually susceptible to the disease. A form of juvenile open-angle glaucoma has been clearly linked to genetic abnormalities.
- Medical conditions: Diabetes and hypothyroidism increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
- Other eye conditions: Severe eye injuries can result in increased eye pressure. Injury can also dislocate the lens, closing the drainage angle. Other risk factors include retinal detachment, eye tumors and eye inflammations, such as chronic uveitis and iritis. Certain types of eye surgery also may trigger secondary glaucoma.
- Nearsightedness: Being nearsighted, which generally means that objects in the distance look fuzzy without glasses or contacts, increases the risk of developing glaucoma.
- Prolonged corticosteroid use: Using corticosteroids for prolonged periods of time appears to put you at risk of getting secondary glaucoma. This is especially true if you use corticosteroids eye drops
SLT has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in prescription medication costs and improve compliance over your lifetime
SLT can be an effective adjunct to medication therapy or used as a primary treatment to reduce or eliminate the need for topical glaucoma medications, along with their common systemic side effects.