Glaucoma Surgery & Treatment
Over two million Americans are affected with glaucoma, and nearly half aren't aware they have the disease. It's commonly referred to as the "silent thief of sight" because you'll feel virtually no symptoms until the disease is very advanced. Unfortunately, once vision is lost, it can never be regained.
What is glaucoma?
The second leading cause of blindness in the United States, glaucoma is a disorder associated with pressure in the eye, which is caused by a backup of fluid. Over time, this can cause damage to the optic nerve - the section of the eye that's responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain. Detecting the disease in its early stages is essential to stopping it before damage is significant.
If there are no symptoms, how do I know if I have glaucoma?
The only way to detect glaucoma is to have a comprehensive eye examination on a regular basis; usually once each year. Although the disease is much more common in adults over 60, it's important you closely monitor it before damage occurs.
How is glaucoma treated?
There are several common ways to treat glaucoma including eye drops, prescription pills, laser surgery or traditional surgical procedures. The staff at Hill Country Eye Center will work with you to create a personalized treatment and follow-up plan that will help preserve your current level of vision and prevent future vision loss.
Eye drops and pills will normally be prescribed first, but if they don't achieve the desired results, surgery is the next best option. Dr. Wollan is our glaucoma specialist and can assist in tailoring a treatment plan if laser or surgery is indicated.
Laser Surgery - This procedure, which takes only 10-20 minutes, has become increasingly popular in the last years. It may be performed in our office and is virtually painless. A laser beam will be focused on your eye - its intense heat will cause certain areas of the eye's drain to shrink. This causes adjacent areas to stretch open, allowing fluid to drain more easily.
Traditional Surgery - Referred to as a "trabeculectomy," this procedure involves a surgeon removing a small section of the eye's drain, which allows the aqueous humor to drain more easily, reducing pressure in the eye. Although this is a relatively safe surgical procedure, you may not have your normal visual acuity until several weeks after the procedure.