Improving the Lives of Our Patients
Have you noticed your eyesight deteriorating? You may be one of the hundreds of thousands of people who think that their vision is worsening due to age, but in reality you may have glaucoma. Glaucoma, an eye disease that develops from multiple optical conditions, slowly eats away at your vision, and if left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage to your optical sphere. Early detection is essential to preventing further damage. Through simple examinations, Drs. Howard Levin, Vincent Imbrogno, and Dr. Ravinder Sabherwal can diagnose glaucoma and configure an ideal treatment plan at their Erie, Pennsylvania facility that best fits your needs.
The “Silent Sight Killer”
The combination of multiple eye conditions slowly deteriorates the optic nerve, resulting in gradual eyesight loss and eventually, if left untreated, blindness. In particular, intraocular pressure, a common eye condition, can contribute to the development of glaucoma. Because early detection of glaucoma is key, and signs and symptoms of the disease don’t usually appear until the disease is in the advanced stages of development, it is important to have a comprehensive eye exam every couple of years once you are between the ages of 20 and 40. If you are over 60 years old, Drs. Levin, Imbrogno, and Sabherwal in Erie, Pennsylvania recommends that patients in the Tri-State area have a glaucoma screening every year. Studies have shown that glaucoma can be prevented, detected, and treated through annual comprehensive eye exams, using prescribed medicated glaucoma eye drops, maintaining a controlled weight, regulated stable blood pressure, and wearing protective eyewear to prevent injuries.
Types of Glaucoma
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma, caused by fluid backup in the eye resulting in elevated eye pressure. The condition causes damage to the optic nerve before you are even aware of it taking place.
Angle-closure glaucoma hinders your eyes ability to drain excess fluid, causing eye pressure to increase abruptly. With this type of glaucoma our Erie, Pennsylvania doctors can prescribe medications to prevent pupil dilation that triggers the growth of angle-closure glaucoma.
Low tension glaucoma creates optic nerve damage even though your eye pressure is within normal range.
Pigmentary glaucoma, one of the easiest forms of glaucoma to detect, is most commonly found in young adults. Caused by the dispersion of pigment particles inside your eye, this condition can prohibit the outflow of fluid, causing a rise in eye pressure.
Eyedrops and Medication
Before recommending surgical or laser treatment to reduce the inflammation caused by glaucoma, our team may prescribe medicated eyedrops to control your condition. The drops should be administered several times a day to decrease eye pressure. Eyedrops are effective, but we can’t guarantee that they will lower your eye pressure to the level that it should be, which is why our vision care professionals prescribe oral medications to some patients. Because you will be ingesting the medication, possible side effects may occur.
SLT- We offer a safe and simple laser treatment called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) that minimizes the increased eye pressure that generally causes severe optical damage. SLT is an effective laser treatment that dramatically minimizes the pressure in the eye for most patients who suffer from the disease. SLT is a quick procedure, taking only about five minutes to perform and giving you immediate relief. Because SLT is clinically proven to treat glaucoma in a single office visit, it has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in alternative medication costs. There are no systematic side effects associated with SLT, but the treatment may need to be performed on a repeat basis.
YAG Iridotomy- Another laser treatment for glaucoma is YAG iridotomy. This outpatient procedure, which takes about five minutes to perform, is designed to lower the pressure in your eye by altering the drainage angle. During the procedure, small incisions are made in the iris to allow fluid to flow between the front and the back of the eye, thereby reducing pressure. Recovery usually requires two to three days. Our surgeons will prescribe eye drops that you will have to use for several days to prevent infection.
Laser surgery may be needed to treat glaucoma if other methods have failed to work. Even after laser surgery, you may have to continue using medicated eyedrops to keep your pressure regulated. If laser surgery seems to be ineffective for the treatment of your glaucoma, Dr. Levin, Dr. Imbrogno, and Dr. Sabherwal may recommend you undergo a filtering surgery such as tube-shunt surgery, canaloplasty, goniotomy, or mini-shunt glaucoma surgery.
Learn More about Glaucoma at Our Erie, Pennsylvania Eye Center
Vision loss can be a very scary thing. Often, patients don’t realize that their eyesight has changed until their vision is radically impaired. Contact us to meet with our skilled surgeons and dynamic doctors to discuss your condition and learn about your treatment options. The valued team of eye care professionals at Contemporary Ophthalmology of Erie does their absolute best to explain to you what is happening to your eyesight. We communicate with you using every day language and terms that you will be able to understand. Whatever your optical condition is, whether you suffer from cataracts, glaucoma, or have a refractive error, our doctors can help you!