Glaucoma

If you suffer from glaucoma, we can provide the care needed to treat your eye condition.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a progressive disease of the optic nerve that is a leading cause of blindness in this country. Because there are no symptoms early in the disease, glaucoma is often referred to as "the sneak thief of sight." In the majority of patients with glaucoma, the pressure inside the eye is elevated. Our ophthalmologists use medical, surgical and laser treatments are available to lower the intraocular pressure and lower the risk of optic nerve damage. With early detection and treatment, vision loss and blindness from glaucoma can be prevented.

What are the risk factors for glaucoma?

Elevated intraocular pressure, advancing age, African ancestry, family history, history of ocular injury, extreme nearsightedness and chronic use of corticosteroid medicines are the major risk factors. Diabetes and high blood pressure are minor risk factors.

What are the different types of glaucoma?

There are several different types of glaucoma, all of which have progressive optic nerve injury and visual field loss in common. Except for Normal Tension Glaucoma, all are associated with elevated intraocular pressure.

How is glaucoma treated?

While there is unfortunately no known cure for glaucoma, with early detection and careful management, damage to your eyesight can be minimized. Our ophthalmologists use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and treat glaucoma, and our treatments vary depending on the type and severity of your glaucoma.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

Hester Eye Care is proud to offer selective laser trabeculoplasty, an excellent procedure for patients whose medication isn’t working, but who aren’t yet ready for a more advanced procedure. This non invasive procedure safely lowers pressure inside the eye by utilizing a specially designed laser to stimulate the trabecular meshwork outflow system to drain away the fluid inside the eye more efficiently, therefore lowering the pressure. This procedure is performed in the office.

If you or someone in your family suffers from glaucoma we can provide the care needed to appropriately treat this condition.

Types of Glaucoma

Angle Closure Glaucoma

Sudden closure of the drainage angle results in a rapid increase in pressure in the eye. Symptoms include severe eye pain, blurred vision, halos around lights, nausea and vomiting. Treatment is needed immediately to minimize optic nerve damage. Angle closure glaucoma is usually treated with laser or microsurgery. Patients that are farsighted, especially those with cataracts or Asian ancestry, are at risk for this type of glaucoma.

Congenital Glaucoma

This rare type of glaucoma occurs in infants due to incomplete formation of the drainage channels in the eye during the prenatal period. Medication and surgery can also help treat this type of glaucoma.

Exfoliative Glaucoma

This common type of secondary glaucoma is due to clogging of the drainage channels by an abnormal white substance that is deposited throughout the eye. Elevated intraocular pressure is treated with medication, a laser, or surgery.

Glaucoma Suspect

This diagnosis refers to patients believed to be at high risk for developing glaucoma or in whom glaucoma is suspected but cannot be confirmed. A person may be considered a glaucoma suspect on the basis of high intraocular pressure, a suspicious appearance of the optic nerve or visual field, or the presence of risk factors.

Normal Tension Glaucoma

In this type of glaucoma, characteristic optic nerve damage and visual field loss occur at pressures within the normal range. Studies have confirmed that lowering pressures further with medications, laser or filtering surgery results in a lower risk of disease progression.

Open Angle Glaucoma

Open angle glaucoma is the most common type of chronic glaucoma in which the intraocular pressure is high, but the drainage angle is open and normal in appearance. Elevated pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve and results in permanent vision loss. OAG can be treated with eye drop and oral medications, laser and filtering surgery.

Pigmentary Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma is a form of secondary glaucoma that occurs when pigment granules from the iris (the colored part of the eye) are rubbed off and clog the drainage channels in the eye, causing the pressure to rise. Medication, laser or surgery may be used for treatment.

Secondary Glaucoma

Secondary glaucoma occurs as a result of an eye injury, inflammation, tumor, cataracts, diabetes or vascular disease. Sometimes, medications such as steroids can cause secondary glaucoma. Treatment is directed toward both the underlying problem as well as lowering pressure with standard glaucoma therapies.