What is glaucoma and what symptoms does it cause?
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve causing decreased vision, usually beginning with peripheral vision. This is typically caused by fluid buildup within the eye that brings intraocular pressure to unsafe levels. If you think of your eye as a digital camera, the optic nerve is the cable that connects the camera to the computer (your brain) so that you can view the images from the camera. When the cable (the optic nerve) is damaged, it only sends part of the image from the camera, and you are left with an incomplete picture (decreased vision).
Are there different types of glaucoma?
Yes. There are many types of glaucoma. They are divided into two main categories that have to do with the area where fluid leaves the inside of the eyeball called the drainage angle. Open-angle glaucoma is more common and has several sub-types. Narrow or closed-angle glaucoma is less common. Any type of glaucoma can lead to permanent, irreversible vision loss.
Am I at risk of having glaucoma?
There are several risk factors for glaucoma, including age, race, having a family member with glaucoma, high eye pressure, far or nearsightedness, trauma to the eye, long-term steroid medication use, diabetes, high blood pressure, and thin corneas. The best way to know if you have glaucoma or are at risk of developing it is to have a formal evaluation. If you are concerned about your risk for possible glaucoma, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jackson today!
Is glaucoma treatable?
While the vision loss from glaucoma is permanent, there are good treatments to slow the disease and even many times stop it from causing damage to the optic nerve. Most treatments are aimed at lowering the pressure inside the eye. These included eye drops, laser procedures, and even surgery to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye. Treatments vary based on the needs of each individual. At your appointment, Dr. Jackson will work with you to determine which treatment is best for you.
What are MIGS?
MIGS stands for Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery. MIGS are the newest category of glaucoma treatment. They are typically reserved for mild to moderate glaucoma, but can be used in more severe cases as well. MIGS can be performed in conjunction with cataract surgery or as stand alone procedures. Because they are minimally invasive, MIGS offer good results with less risk than older, more traditional glaucoma surgeries. Dr. Jackson is proud to offer many different types of MIGS.