Glaucoma Treatment

Dr. Sam Cohlmia, M.D. is a Wichita ophthalmologist & eye doctor specializing in the treatment of glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

One of the most common causes for irreversible visual loss is glaucoma. Glaucoma is damage to the nerve fiber layer of the retina that is typically caused by an elevation in the intraocular pressure. It can go undetected until extreme visual loss has taken place. People at risk for glaucoma include those with a family history of glaucoma, diabetics, individuals of African-American decent, and those of increasing age. In general, most glaucomas are painless and asymptomatic. The visual loss that initially occurs is in the periphery of the visual field, so that most people do not even notice the visual loss. As glaucoma progresses, and if left untreated, it can affect the central vision in an irreversible fashion. Glaucoma is diagnosed on a routine screening eye examination from your glaucoma eye doctor.

Treatment for Glaucoma

The initial treatment for glaucoma is the use of eye drops in order to reduce the intraocular pressure. If eye drops fail, then laser or even surgical repair is necessary. That is why it is crucial for an individual to undergo an annual glaucoma eye examination, especially if there is a risk factor for such a blinding disease.

Glaucoma Visual Field Blind Spot Testing

Visual field tests assess the potential presence of blind spots (scotomas), which could indicate eye diseases. A blind spot in the field of vision can be linked to a variety of specific eye diseases, depending on the size and shape of the scotoma.

This type of test is only part of a glaucoma evaluation. Visual field tests help diagnose and categorize glaucoma and sets a baseline for future exams.

Glaucoma Nerve Fiber Layer Testing

The GDx test is a relatively new test that has proved its usefulness in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. The GDx is a tool that uses laser to determine the thickness of the nerve fiber layer. Older glaucoma tests have centered around measuring eye pressure or measuring the effect that glaucoma has on your overall visual field. Although these tests are extremely important in the treatment and management of glaucoma, it would be helpful to measure or test early what damage glaucoma can cause to the nerve fiber layer in the back of the eye.

The GDx is currently used by the Cohlmia Eye Center as a baseline exam. The test provides important information that is useful in following your optic nerve status throughout the years. The GDx also helps Dr. Cohlmia decide whether you truly have glaucoma or could be considered a glaucoma suspect. The GDx test, alone, does not make the diagnosis of glaucoma; therefore, Dr. Cohlmia must use all of the baseline and follow-up data of each patient to make a decision regarding treatment.

Treatment for Glaucoma

The initial treatment for glaucoma is the use of eye drops in order to reduce the intraocular pressure. If eye drops fail, then laser or even surgical repair is necessary. That is why it is crucial for an individual to undergo an annual eye examination, especially if there is a risk factor for such a blinding disease.

Glaucoma Filtering & Valve Procedures

A glaucoma valve is a medical shunt used in the treatment of glaucoma to reduce the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP). The glaucoma valve implant is used for glaucoma patients not responding to maximal medical therapy, with previous failed guarded filtering surgery (trabeculectomy) or in cases where conventional drainage surgery is unlikely to succeed. Common situations where the use of a glaucoma implant as a primary procedure is indicated include:

  • Neovascular glaucoma – glaucoma associated with vascular disease of the eye (often diabetes).
  • Cases of Uveitis – acute or chronic inflammation of the eye.
  • Traumatic glaucoma – glaucoma associated with injury to the eye.
  • Silicone glaucoma – glaucoma due to Silicone used to repair a detached retina.
  • Infantile/Juvenile glaucoma – often associated with developmental defects of the eye.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Cohlmia Eye Center is the premier and trusted ophthalmology center in Wichita. With our dedication to up-to-date technology and passionate patient care, we treat a wide array of ophthalmic disorders. One common disorder is glaucoma. To better understand glaucoma what it is its warning signs and how it can be treated look to none other than leading ophthalmologist Dr. Sam Cohlmia, the head surgeon and owner of Cohlmia Eye Center.

You may be asking yourself, what is glaucoma?

Glaucoma disease of the eye where the pressure builds up so high in the eye then it can cause damage to the nerve of the eye and if it does so it causes irreversible loss of vision.

How do you know if you have glaucoma?

The most common type of glaucoma, there are no warning signs because it affects the peripheral vision first prior to affecting the central vision. It’s usually picked up on a routine eye examination.

How is glaucoma treated?

The main way actually treating glaucoma is with anti-glaucoma hydrops eyedrops that lower the pressure of the eye to help prevent damage to the nerve of the eye. However if the eye drops are not working effectively, then surgery will be the next option. Typically patients are asleep under general anesthesia for the surgery. Typically, it’s somewhat irritating afterwards but there’s not that much severe of pain that they’re going to experience. Most people are functioning fine within maybe three four days or even a week at the latest.

At Cohlmia Eye Center, we want to ensure that our patients receive the best care around. When it comes to your sight, don’t hesitate come in and let’s see what we can do for you.

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