Glaucoma is a common eye disease which causes loss of vision in individuals affected by the condition. Glaucoma develops when the pressure of the fluid inside the eye gets too high. Fluid enters the eye at a structure called the ciliary body and exits the eye at a structure called the trabecular meshwork.
In glaucoma there exists a problem with fluid draining normally from the eye. When pressure inside the eye builds up, damage to the optic nerve develops where the nerve enters the back of the eye. Several forms of glaucoma exist, and each is treated differently. Patients with a family history of glaucoma are at increased risk for the development of this condition.
Other factors that increase a person’s risk of developing glaucoma include increasing age, diabetes mellitus, and African-American ancestry. Because the early symptoms of glaucoma are often not apparent, an individual who has glaucoma may be unaware that a problem exists until it is too late to recover lost vision. In order to effectively treat glaucoma, regular ophthalmologic examinations (which may detect glaucoma in its early stages) are necessary.
The potential impact of Glaucoma on your life
The eye disease of glaucoma can be very problematic to your vision, and it is the second-leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Glaucoma must be taken seriously. Once you have been diagnosed with glaucoma you will need to make simple lifestyle changes in order manage your disease. If you have been diagnosed at an early point the eye doctor will then make a suggested treatment protocol based on taking medication to control intraocular pressure. Once the treatment protocol for medications is administered patients can typically return to a normal life. Taking medication will be critical or the disease can progress. Glaucoma patients typically struggle with integrating all of the medicating times into one day. Successful patients often try to take the medicine or drops at times such as waking, sleep time, or meals and snacks.
Although patients can be depressed at the onset of this disease it is important to not be consumed with the negative aspects. This eye disease does not have to limit your lifestyle. Continue with regular activities and try not be consumed with the emotional aspects of having a disease. If you have a business, start new initiatives; if you play golf, go hit some golf balls or if you enjoy cooking, try some new recipes. There may some more physical activities such as athletics or driving that will become hard to do. It is common for some glaucoma patients to experience light sensitivity or specific problems with light glare. Because driving can endanger others it is important to discuss this matter with your eye doctor. Please feel free to consult with our staff or the dedicated surgeons at North Suburban Eye Associates at any of our 4 locations in the greater Boston area (Wakefield, Winchester and Beverly). Because we specialize in treating and managing this eye disease we have a unique perspective and opportunity to help our patients live with glaucoma.
There are many individuals stepping up to help with glaucoma treatment research initiatives. Since the sports world was shocked by the sudden blindness of MVP baseball star Kirby Puckett more awareness of this disease has emerged. The eye care community, including the Glaucoma Research Foundation, surges forward in an effort to find better methods to treat glaucoma. Someday there may even be a cure for this disease.
If you have glaucoma and would like to discuss alternative and modern treatment options our doctors are readily available for discussion. If you are concerned that serious damage is occurring from glaucoma do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us in the greater Boston area.
Glaucoma: Those At Risk?
Glaucoma can impact anyone or any family. All people should be concerned about the glaucoma disease and the potential harm it could cause someone’s life. Because this eye disease is also known as the sneak thief of sight we must remind each other, especially our elders, to get regular eye examinations. Early detection could save your vision.
People at greater risk for glaucoma:
- People of African-American descent
- Adults over the age of 50 years
- Those with a significant family history of glaucoma
- People who have diabetes
- Nearsighted patients
- People with high intraocular pressure
- Those with Asthma (Corticosteroids inhaled to treat asthma have been reported to raise intraocular pressure)
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) now recommends that people with other risk factors for glaucoma have their eyes examined.
If you suspect that you might have glaucoma or have been previously diagnosed as a glaucoma patient please contact our office immediately. Our doctors are on the forefront of glaucoma treatment and diagnosis. If you want immediate attention please call our office for an appointment. North Suburban Eye Associates is your source for glaucoma treatments in the greater Boston area.
Dr. Sandra Hu-Torres specializes in treating glaucoma as well as uveitis, an eye condition related to inflammation in the eye. She is skilled with many of the glaucoma lasers needed for the treatment of narrow and open angle glaucoma. She also performs glaucoma surgries, including shunts and filters, for the treatment of moderate to severe glaucoma in both the Stoneham and Bevely surgery centers. She has been working with patients with moderate to severe glaucoma and uveitis at all of North Suburban Eye Associates locations since the completion of hr Fellowship in Boston in 2013.