Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness here in the US. It is especially common among people of African American descent. It is estimated that more than 2 million people are currently suffering from glaucoma here in the US and that as many as 50% don’t even know they have it! Glaucoma is often associated with higher than normal pressures within the eye but can occur even at normal pressures. With time, certain patients will go on to suffer damage to their optic nerve which leads to loss of peripheral vision. Left unchecked, patients can progress to tunnel-vision and even complete blindness. Thankfully with modern technology and therapeutic options, glaucoma can be detected early and treated effectively so that vision can be maintained. The Pernoud Eye Institute is happy to offer our patients the latest in both the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
The Ophthalmologists here only rely on accurate instruments to reliably measure the intraocular pressure (IOP) within the eye. Often time patients come in worried because they have been told they have glaucoma when checked with the “puff of air” test, only to find out the measurement was unreliable. We rely on gold standard testing performed with Goldmann Applanation Tonometry and TonopenTM in patients who are unable to sit at the slit lamp. If the suspicion is high, further testing can be done in office the same day to more accurately assess the health of the optic nerve. This includes a sophisticated scan of the optic nerve that compares the health of the tissue between the individual eyes and to other normative data (Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT). Our Visual Field machines utilize the latest testing strategies to minimize test duration and increase reliability. We are committed to providing a timely and accurate diagnosis.
As with nearly every other aspect of the field of Ophthalmology, the treatment of glaucoma has advanced tremendously, especially over the last 5-10 years. Often times, first line therapy for glaucoma involves using a prescription medication eye drop as little as once daily. For those patients who either are not responding to eye drop therapy, have trouble putting the drops in their eyes, or have anatomical predispositions that put them at increased risk for an angle closure glaucoma attack, glaucoma laser surgery is a good option. Laser Trabeculoplasty (LTP) is an in-office laser procedure that is often pain free and can be completed in as little as 5 minutes per session. Studies indicate that when effective, the pressure can be lowered within the eye as much as that seen with a daily eye drop. While the effect may wean with time or not be fully effective in others, often time the procedure can be repeatedly safely. Other patients benefit from Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI). This in-office laser procedure helps protect at risk patients against going into an angle closure glaucoma attack (which is a medical emergency). As these laser procedures are medically indicated, they are covered by insurance. Call or contact us online to find out more.