Glaucoma Care: What You Need to Know

Image of two old men wearing glasses.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, reports the Glaucoma Research Foundation. This common eye condition typically affects older adults, although infants and young adults are also at risk. Fortunately, however, cutting-edge research is improving diagnosis and treatment of this common eye disease. Talk to your optometrist about glaucoma care for the latest information about treatment options.

Causes and Symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition characterized by increased pressure within the eye, which damages the optic nerve that sends visual information to the brain. Most cases of glaucoma are called open-angle glaucoma, which occurs when drainage channels are partially blocked and cause gradual increases in intraocular pressure. The primary symptom of open-angle glaucoma is gradual loss of peripheral vision. Acute angle closure glaucoma, on the other hand, occurs when the iris bulges and suddenly blocks drainage channels. This form of glaucoma causes rapid pressure increases, associated with eye pain, nausea, and vision problems.

Traditional Glaucoma Care

For many years, the approach to glaucoma care included medications in the form of eye drops. The traditional approach most commonly featured beta blocker eye drops, which were used to alleviate intraocular pressure. Many patients disliked beta blockers because of their adverse side effects. Surgery was another alternative for severe cases of glaucoma, but surgical techniques often came with unpleasant side effects as well.

Advances in Glaucoma Care

Pharmaceutical Treatments

Today, improved medication options and surgical procedures offer hope for patients with glaucoma. Many individuals now use prostaglandin eye drops, which are more effective at reducing intraocular pressure and come with fewer side effects than beta blockers. Recent studies have found a single injection of anecortave acetate, a steroid medication, to effectively lower intraocular pressure to normal limits. Other pharmaceutical treatments, including alpha-adrenergic agonists or miotic agents, are also used in glaucoma treatment. New classes of medications continue to be investigated.

Surgical Treatments

New surgical techniques are also being employed. Glaucoma experts are excited about micropulse laser trabeculoplasty (MLT), a surgery that uses a laser pulse to reduce intraocular pressure. MLT has a lower risk of side effects than more traditional surgical options. Canaloplasty, in which is tiny catheter is placed into the eye’s drainage canal, is another new surgical technique to lower intraocular pressure. One of the most exciting advances in glaucoma care is the Trabectome procedure, which improves fluid drainage in the eye. This surgery is performed in out-patient clinics, allowing patients to undergo surgery and return home the same day.

Source:
Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Contact

Eye Associates
Harleysville Eye Associates
Phone: 215-256-6735, Fax: 215-256-9931
Email Us

Chadds Ford Eye Associates
Phone: 610-558-2760, Fax: 610-361-2031
Email Us

Lansdale Eye Associates
Phone: 215-997-4535, Fax: 215-997-4537
Email Us

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "Dr. White and his staff are compassionate, very knowledgeable and friendly. They take the time to explain procedures to you and are happy to answer any of your questions. If you are in need of an optometrist, I highly recommend this office. Great people!"
    Sydney D.
  • "Lansdale Eye Associates' Staff's attention was complete and professional. Attending Optometrist, Dr. Le, provided a fully thorough, detailed and assuring exam while providing clear, succinct answers to all questions and sound advice on patient's responsibility regarding future maintenance & preventative care."
    Francis N.
  • "Everyone was very helpful, from calling my insurance company to ensure I got the best discounts to helping me pick the best glasses. The whole office is very nice and knowledgeable!"
    Michele O.
  • "Everyone at the office was very friendly, professional, and efficient. I was pleased with the eye exam and the extra effort to ensure that I was satisfied with the service and had everything I needed for the contact lens rebate."
    Jeff P.
  • "My family has been using Lansdale Eye Associates for over 30 years. The doctors and staff are very knowledgeable and friendly. We always have a good experience, and they've been great with my daughter who needed glasses at age 5."
    Emma G.
  • "Always a pleasure to have my exam at Harleysville Eye Assoc. Dr. Forrest is very patient and answers any questions I have. The Associates help me pick out my new frames and address any insurance issues that may arise."
    Margaret D.
  • "I can't remember when I first started seeing Dr. Forrest, but have no desire to change. He cares about his patients eye health and takes the time to get things right. His support staff is to be commended as well from testing to selecting and fitting frames and lenses."
    Michael W.
  • "This was my first visit and I was more than pleased with my experience. From the first moment that I called to set up the appointment with Danielle until the moment I left the office I was treated wonderfully. The staff were all very knowledgeable, friendly and truly went out of their way to make my experience a comfortable one. I would highly recommend visiting the great people at Eye Associates!"
    Shea C.
  • "If you need your eyes checked, this is a great place to go. The staff is friendly, efficient & helpful. Dr. Forrest is professional & makes me feel at ease. I trust him to get things right."
    Willowdean L.
  • "Great office staff and doctors. I'm never anxious coming here. The appointments start on time, the staff is efficient and the doctors are pleasant and do a great job explaining what they are looking at and the results of the exams."
    Terence F.
  • "My experience at the office was a great one from beginning to end. Everyone was pleasant and knowledgeable. Dr. Forrest took his time in explaining everything to me and expressed genuine concern for my well being. I would recommend this office to others."
    Michael B.
  • "Friendliness, professionalism, & efficiency of the staff. Is worth the trip from Jenkintown to Harleysville!"
    Mary S.
  • "Our family has always had a great experience at Chadds Ford Eye Associates. They go out of their way to be helpful. Our daughter realized that she did not have enough contact lens to go to a Florida trip and they were able to get us some samples to get her through the trip. They work hard to ensure that your prescription is right and if not will take the time make adjustments."
    Rose S.
  • "Everyone in the office was terrific and my appointment very efficient and productive. Dr White is very thorough. Your eyes are in good hands with him."
    John Y.
  • "Great office and doctors. I've been going for years! No complaints! Would recommend to others."
    Linda P.
  • "I've been a patient of Dr. Forrest's for a long time and as long as I live within driving distance, I will continue to be. He's served me and my family very well over the years with his competent, confident approach."
    Ken L.
  • "Dr. Paul Forrest has taken good care of my eyes for years. His staff have always been friendly and helpful."
    Glenn R.
  • "Dr. Paul Forrest has taken good care of my eyes for years. His staff have always been friendly and helpful."
    Glenn R.
  • "Office staff and doctor completely professional and very helpful throughout the entire examination from check-in, testing and picking out frames. No need to look any further this is the best around."
    Tim V.
  • "Dr Le is excellent. Very thorough with the exam. Office staff was also very good and answered all my questions. Thank you!"
    Kathleen M.
  • "I did not wait long in the waiting room. The help staff was very friendly and efficient. The doctors clinical knowledge and assessment was excellent and very thorough. I'm very pleased with my visit and my care."
    James B.
  • "All of my testing went very smoothly. It was on time and went like clockwork. Very satisfied and happy with the appointment."
    John B.
  • "We were running a little late to our appointment and they were still willing to take us. Very helpful with picking out frames for glasses and flexible with payment options. This is why I have been a client for over 15 years."
    Cheryl H.
  • "Dr. White explained what a cataract is and how it can be treated to improve vision. It really did help me to know and understand the facts."
    Josephine V.
  • "My first appointment at LEA was great! The staff was friendly, helpful, and accommodating, especially since they're one of the few offices that have evening appointments. I would definitely recommend!"
    Kayla S.
  • "Everyone was very friendly. My appointment went very well and was on time."
    Kim L.
  • "It's always a pleasure visiting them. Dr. Forrest is very amazing, knowledge and honest. They other employees are always welcoming. Excellent service always."
    Kwame A.
  • "Having been going to Harleysville Eye Associates for years and Dr White and his staff have always been very highly skilled and proficient."
    James W.