Geller Vision, Bradley D. Geller, M.D., F.A.A.O. Powered by ZocDoc Doctor Directory

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Bradley D. Geller, M.D., F.A.A.O

Emerson Office

466 Old Hook Road Suite 24E

Emerson, NJ 07630

Ph / (201) 265-7515

Fx / (201) 265-8626

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease caused by damage to or excessive pressure on the optic nerve. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Although nearly three million Americans suffer from this disease, only half of them know it. This year alone, 5,000 people will go blind from glaucoma. Glaucoma is treatable when caught early but has no warning signs. It affects peripheral vision first—meaning a patient could have “perfect” 20/20 vision but still have glaucoma.

Certain demographics are at heightened risk for glaucoma. This includes people who: are over the age of 60 have diabetes have a relative with glaucoma are of African descent AND over the age of 40

To protect your vision, it is crucial to get tested early and regularly. Contact us today for details.

Glaucoma Treatment Details

Glaucoma is a common degenerative eye disease that is caused by damage to or excessive pressure on the optic nerve. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Nearly 3 million Americans suffer from this disease, but only about half are aware of it. This year alone, nearly 5,000 people will go blind from glaucoma. Contrary to popular belief, glaucoma is not reserved for the elderly; even children are sometimes affected.

The most common form of glaucoma is known as primary open angle glaucoma, or POAG. Closed angle glaucoma, a rare form of the disease, is very serious and requires emergency intervention. A third form of the disease, known as “low tension” or “normal tension” glaucoma, is a condition in which the patient has optic nerve damage even though his or her intraocular pressure is normal. Without treatment, any form of glaucoma can result in vision loss.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Although treatable when caught early, glaucoma has no early warning signs. As the disease progresses, symptoms and signs can include eye pain, clouded or haloed vision, red eyes, headaches, and nausea; sadly, however, most patients have no indication that the pressure in their eyes is elevated or that their optic nerve is damaged until the advanced stages of glaucoma has set in.

Glaucoma affects peripheral vision first—meaning a patient could have “perfect” 20/20 vision but still have glaucoma. For patients suffering from open angle glaucoma, peripheral vision is gradually lost, while central vision is usually spared. These people sometimes notice excessive fluid in their eyes. This is because the eye’s drainage system is open but unable to drain the fluid as quickly as it is produced.

Although closed angle glaucoma is rare, its symptoms typically include red, painful eyes, blurred vision, headache, and nausea. This form of the disease is an ocular emergency requiring immediate treatment.

Who Is At Risk?

Those who are most at risk for glaucoma are people with elevated intraocular pressure. A person’s risk of developing the disease increases with age, and anyone over the age of 60 is considered to be at risk. Other demographics at heightened risk for glaucoma include diabetics, people who have a relative with glaucoma, and persons of African descent over the age of 40. People in these ‘at-risk’ groups will not experience any noticeable symptoms of the disease early on, so it is important to have regular eye examinations.

Diagnosing Glaucoma

During routine eye examinations, ophthalmologists check for glaucoma by testing the eye’s drainage angle (gonioscopy), evaluating the optic nerve (ophthalmolscopy), testing the visual field of each eye (perometry), and measuring intraocular pressure (tonometry). If glaucoma is suspected, the doctor typically gives the patient a vision test to determine visual acuity for central and peripheral vision. This test takes about 20 to 30 minutes to perform and consists of flashes of light that the patient may or may not see(the patient pushes a button to alert the doctor when a flash is seen). This method allows the doctor to accurately map the patient’s visual acuity and find the areas where vision may be affected. Checking intraocular pressure alone is insufficient to diagnose glaucoma. To protect your vision, it is essential to have early and regular eye examinations.

Treating Glaucoma

Once a diagnosis of glaucoma has been made, treatment depends on the form of the disease and its severity. For primary open angle glaucoma, eye drops are often given to lower intraocular pressure. This can help slow damage to the optic nerve. For closed angle glaucoma, eye pressure must be reduced quickly, either by eye drops or intravenously. In addition, laser surgery may be required to open the eye’s drainage system and allow fluid to drain.

For cases of glaucoma that do not respond well to other treatment methods, or for patients who are not candidates for laser surgery, traditional surgery is usually recommended. The most common type is filtering surgery, also known as trabeculectomy. During this procedure, a small flap is created in the sclera (the white portion of the eye), allowing for fluid drainage. To keep the flap from healing and closing, anti-scarring medicine is also administered. More than 85 percent of patients find this surgical method successful. Another surgical option is valve implantation. During this procedure, a silicone tube is placed in the front chamber of the eye. Fluid then drains through the tube to a small reservoir on the side of the eye. This method has a success rate greater than 80 percent.

Recovery from Surgery

Although relatively painless, some patients may feel a mild stinging sensation following surgery for glaucoma. Local anesthetics can be prescribed to lessen discomfort. Patients may also experience blurred vision. Generally, these effects are short-lived, and patients can usually resume normal activities the next day.

Preventing Glaucoma

The best way to keep glaucoma from robbing you of your eyesight is to have early and regular eye examinations by a professional ophthalmologist. Simple and painless, an eye exam will alert you and your eye doctor early on so that an appropriate course of treatment can be taken. Early detection of glaucoma means more effective treatment of the disease. If you notice any of the following warning signs of glaucoma, please contact your ophthalmologist immediately:

Loss of peripheral vision Blurred vision Red, irritated eyes Halos around lights Headaches Nausea.

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