An estimated 4 million people have glaucoma, though as many as half of those with the eye disease don’t know they have it. If you’re looking for an experienced Denver area eye surgeon who can diagnose and treat the disease, Dr. Richard Levinson can help.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of incurable eye diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness. Currently there is no cure for glaucoma and the resulting vision loss can’t be reversed. It can be delayed and often prevented with early and effective treatment. It’s important for people with glaucoma to seek out an experienced ophthalmologist.
Who is at risk?
Everyone—though studies show the following groups to be most vulnerable: African Americans, people over 60, people with a family history of glaucoma, diabetics, people who are severely nearsighted, and people with eye injuries are particularly vulnerable to the disease. People most vulnerable to the disease should see an ophthalmologist every year.
What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?
The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. This form of the disease results in the eye’s drainage canals becoming clogged, and often develops with no symptoms. If you’ve noticed a loss of your peripheral vision, nausea, pain and red eyes (signs the disease has advanced considerably) you’ll want to come into the Levinson Eye Clinic in Denver’s Rose Medical Center immediately for an eye exam.
What causes glaucoma?
Studies show that eye pressure-causing fluid inside the eye may be a risk factor for glaucoma. With angle-closure glaucoma in particular, the fluid in the front of the eye is unable to drain from the eye. The angle gets blocked by part of the iris. People with this type of glaucoma may have a sudden increase in eye pressure. Symptoms include severe pain and nausea, as well as redness of the eye and blurred vision
How is glaucoma diagnosed and treated?
Glaucoma is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist through a dilated eye exam that includes a standard eye chart test. During the exam, your eye doctor will also use a tool called a tonometer to measure the fluid pressure inside your eyes. The disease can be treated with eye drops designed to lower fluid pressure in your eye, either by decreasing the amount of fluid your eye makes, or by helping fluid leave the eye. For patients who do not have success with drops, there is also a laser treatment that can be performed called SLT; Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty. SLT is a form of laser surgery that is used to lower the intraocular pressure in glaucoma. It can also be used as initial treatment for glaucoma.
Dr. Levinson has more than 30 years of experience as a Denver eye surgeon. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call us today at 303-393-0347.