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Patient FAQs

Patient FAQs

Glaucoma: Causes, Treatments & Prevention

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye and one of the leading causes of blindness. In the United States, close to 2 million people suffer from it and its symptoms - some of them not even aware that they have it. Glaucoma can cause steady loss of peripheral vision, and can move slowly inward toward your essential central vision as it progresses.

Glaucoma is generally caused by high pressure within the eye. This pressure comes from an obstruction of the normal outflow of fluid from the eye. When this type of blockage occurs, it can damage the optic nerve – the main transmitter of visual information from the eye to the brain.  The entire process may take years to be complete, but you should always consult an eye doctor if there are any significant changes in your vision at all.

How Can I Tell If I have Glaucoma?

The main way to tell if you have glaucoma, or any of its symptoms, is to attend regular visits with our trained eye care professionals. During your visit, you will be tested with a device called a Tonometer. This device will examine your optic nerve and the level of pressure within. If the doctor suspects that there is anything amiss, with either your nerve or the pressure, we will generally order a Visual Field Test for you as soon as possible.

This Visual Field Test will examine your peripheral vision – the thing most affected by the early stages of glaucoma. New technologies – such as the HRTII Test – will make it easier to detect any signs and begin the best treatments for your level of the affliction.     

What Are the Best Treatments?

Open angle glaucoma, one of the most common forms of glaucoma, is usually treated with medicinal eye drops to lower the pressure on the optic nerve. There are also medicines that can be taken orally to drop the pressure as well. The other surgical form of glaucoma treatment is SLT surgery. This procedure open drainage channels for the eye fluid, and maintains a normal level of optic nerve pressure.

Can Glaucoma Be Prevented?

There are things you can do on your own to prevent glaucoma. Study up on your own family history to see if there are aby previous signs of it, and come see us at Reed Eye Associates for routine screenings. This will allow us to provide you with the most comprehensive tests.

Correcting Cataracts through Surgical Procedures:

Everyone will develop a cataract if they live long enough. That can be a scary thought for some. In fact, right now, in the United States, more than 50% of people over 60 years old suffer from cataracts. There are surgical treatments that can correct them, but it is first important to understand the root causes to know how to react.  

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a gradual but progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which prevents light from passing through to the retina. People suffering from cataracts describe it like looking through water or wax paper. With cataracts, there is generally a blurring or dimming of vision, overall.

There are several symptoms of cataracts that are easily seen early on. These include:

  • Difficulty reading up close or seeing the road during a drive
  • Bothersome glare
  • Halos around light sources
  • Slight double vision
  • An increase in prescription glasses necessity

Will I need Cataract Surgery?

If the symptoms of cataracts present themselves strongly, and interfere with your quality of life, surgery is recommended to correct it. With almost 1 million cataract surgeries performed in the US every year, new technologies allow our patients to head home and rest in the comfort of their own homes without the need to stay overnight in an expensive hospital.

After your consultation with our eye doctor, the cataract surgical procedure is fairly simple, out-patient, and takes only a few minutes. The process includes painlessly removing the cataract on your eye through a process called phacoemulsification. Undergoing this process, our eye doctor will make a small incision in your sclera (the white part of your eye) or in the clear cornea. The cataract is then broken up into microscopic particles using sound waves and then suctioned from the eye.

To replace the natural lens that was removed, a synthetic intra-ocular lens (IOL) is implanted into the capsular bag. It is held there by the natural outward pressure of the eye itself. Almost all cases of this surgery show a very high success rate, and allow you to return to normal work and play shortly after completion.    

Is there a Way to Prevent Cataracts?

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent cataracts from forming. Seeing us, your trusted eye doctors, regularly will ensure there are no cataract growths on your eye. You should also learn all you can about the surgical procedure if necessary for recovery and preparation purposes.

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