Glaucoma refers to a group of degenerative eye diseases caused by pressure on the eye’s optic nerve. This pressure, which occurs primarily in the anterior chamber of the eye as a result of fluid buildup, damages the nerve, and can result in vision loss and even blindness. Thankfully, early detection and treatment – both surgical and non-surgical – can prevent further damage to the optic nerve and protect your vision.
If you suffer from glaucoma or experience distorted or inhibited vision and are seeking diagnosis, we can help. We offer both diagnosis of eye disease and glaucoma surgery at our Long Island offices, located in Smithtown, Riverhead, Deer Park, and Holbrook. We can educate you on this condition, answer any questions you may have, and determine appropriate treatment. If your quality of life suffers from poor vision, please seek professional care now – arrange a consultation with SightMD.
Glaucoma Surgery Procedures
In some cases, medicine alone may be sufficient to alleviate symptoms (early symptoms of glaucoma include a loss of peripheral vision and tunnel vision) and treat the source of your eye condition. These medicines, which can be administered through eye drops or rarely, pills, alleviate pressure and promote drainage of fluid buildup. However, medicine typically is utilized to treat glaucoma in its earliest stages; if the condition is more severe, glaucoma surgery will likely be necessary. At SightMD, our team of eye surgeons is skilled in multiple treatment options and can provide you with expert care. If you require surgery for the treatment of glaucoma, we will likely employ one or both of the below methods:
- Laser Trabeculoplasty – One of the primary causes of glaucoma is a buildup of pressure inside the anterior chamber of the eye. The eye has natural drains that evacuate fluid from this chamber. If these drains are insufficient for this purpose, the pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve and eventually lead to glaucoma. Laser trabeculoplasty is a common glaucoma surgery technique, and we employ it at our Smithtown, Riverhead, and Long Island-area practice locations. The procedure involves the application of laser energy onto the drainage tissue, a spongy meshwork, to increase drainage capacity. As with other laser eye surgeries, this technique is quick and effective, with marginal downtime. Possible side effects include inflammation, though medication can help alleviate pain. Our laser trabeculoplasty techniques include selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), which utilizes a low-level laser to treat specific cells selectively.
- Laser Peripheral Iridotomy – LPI (laser peripheral iriodotomy) provides an effective solution for the treatment of narrow-angle glaucoma or the prevention of acute angle glaucoma. During this procedure, a laser is utilized to make a small hole in the peripheral iris, or the colored part of the eye. This allows for increased fluid drainage by changing the fluid dynamics within the eye and “opening” the narrow angle. Whether a patient is suffering narrow angle glaucoma or acute angle closure glaucoma, this procedure can promote pressure alleviation.
- Conventional Trabeculoplasty – If medicine or laser surgery have failed to alleviate the symptoms of glaucoma and treat its underlying cause, then traditional glaucoma surgery may be necessary. This procedure, which is performed in an operating room using local anesthesia, creates a new opening in the eye to properly drain clear fluid from the anterior chamber. Once this new drainage channel has been created, fluid will drain more readily. Success rates for this method are as high as 80 percent, though secondary surgery can be performed if the initial surgery failed to meet the patient’s goals. Side effects associated with traditional glaucoma surgery include inflammation, infection, and complications related to other conditions, such as cataracts.
- Laser Cyclophotocoagulation – If vision is extremely poor as a result of glaucoma and other, more conservative techniques have failed to alleviate fluid buildup, laser cyclophotocoagulation, known as Diode CPC, may be called upon. The purpose of this procedure is to destroy the ciliary body, which is a component of the eye adjacent to the peripheral iris responsible for the production of aqueous humor fluid. As glaucoma is caused by a buildup of pressure within the eye, eliminating the source of fluid production can help to greatly alleviate this pressure and the resulting condition. After the eye is numbed, a laser will be used to penetrate the sclera and damage the ciliary body tissue underneath.
- ExPRESS Mini Glaucoma Shunt – This is similar to a conventional trabeculectomy surgery but involves implantation of a small device that assists with acqueous drainage from the eye.
- Glaucoma Drainage Devices – These are tubes that are placed in the eye to assist with acqueous drainage from the eye. Certain patients are not good candidates for trabeculectomy surgery secondary to scarring of their conjunctiva, inability to adequately care for their trabeculectomy, or certain eye diseases such as uveitis or neovascular glaucoma from diabetes or ocular ischemia.
These procedures are ideal for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease, as well as other forms of glaucoma. If you or a family member suffers from another form of glaucoma, such as angle-closure glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, secondary glaucoma, or low-tension glaucoma, we can evaluate your eye health, determine the cause of your vision complication, and recommend effective treatment. In some cases, such as angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms may have rapid onset and immediate treatment should be sought.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you suffer from impaired vision. There may be no symptoms at first, but if you begin to develop tunnel vision or have difficulty seeing things in your periphery, these may indicate the onset of glaucoma. At SightMD, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all eye conditions, including glaucoma. Allow us to educate you on glaucoma surgery – at our Long Island locations, including Smithtown and Riverhead, we take great care to educate our patients so that they can make informed decisions regarding their health.