Glaucoma

GlaucomaGLAUCOMA

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that affect the optic nerve of the eye, and results in poor vision, especially the peripheral vision. The optic nerve is one of three parts of the visual system that needs to be healthy in order to have good vision. The first part of the visual system is the eyeball, which senses images as light enters the eye. The second part of the visual system is the brain which interprets the images as they come in. The last past of the visual system is the optic nerve, which connects the eyeball to the brain. It acts as a “wire” to connect the eyeball to the brain. In glaucoma, this “wire” becomes damaged and cannot effectively and efficiently transfer information from the eyeball to the brain, resulting in poor vision.

Although all forms of glaucoma affect the optic nerve and result in poor vision, the cause of the damage is not always the same. This is why there are dozens of different types of glaucoma. For each of the different types of damage to the optic nerve that exist, there is a different type of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is subdivided into many different categories based on many different criteria. Some divisions categorize glaucoma by age of onset. When glaucoma is subdivided like this, we find three main categories of glaucoma: congenital glaucoma, juvenile glaucoma, and adult glaucoma. However, since congenital and juvenile forms of glaucoma are not very common, few people classify glaucoma into these categories.

Another way to classify glaucoma is by its cause. If glaucoma exists because of a specific cause (ie. trauma, diabetes, or stroke of the eye), the glaucoma is referred to as a “secondary” glaucoma.This is because the glaucoma is secondary to the underlying disease. If glaucoma exists because of no known cause, the glaucoma is referred to as a “primary” glaucoma.This is similar to the diagnosis of “primary hypertension” (high blood pressure). Many Americans have high blood pressure that has an unknown, but genetically linked cause. In the same way when a patient has glaucoma with an unknown, but genetically linked cause, they are said to have “primary glaucoma”. This is one of the most common ways to classify glaucoma, and most people in the United States that have glaucoma, have a primary form of glaucoma.

Another very popular way to classify glaucoma is based on the actual anatomy variations that exist that result in the disease. These anatomy variations result in either an “open angle” in the eye, or a “narrow angle” in the eye. This is where the names, “open angle glaucoma” and “narrow angle glaucoma” come from. To find out more about open angle glaucoma, or narrow angle glaucoma, please click on the appropriate link. Keep in mind that eye anatomy variations that exist can result in glaucoma. These anatomy variations may be congenital (from birth), or secondary to trauma or disease (like diabetes). Therefore, a patient may have a “primary open angle glaucoma”, a “secondary narrow angle glaucoma”, or any of the other combinations that can be formed using these two classification systems. It is also possible for a patient to have more than one form of glaucoma. This is why diagnosing and treating glaucoma can be so challenging and should be done by an eye care professional that is highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a painless disease that causes patients to gradually lose their peripheral vision. In extreme cases, people eventually lose all of their vision in either one or both of their eyes. Although glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be managed and treated so as to stop its progression. In the same way that a patient with high blood pressure (primary hypertension) is managed with blood pressure medicines, a glaucoma patient is managed with eye drop medications. In some instances, glaucoma can be treated with laser surgery. Sometimes this laser surgery can minimize or eliminate the need for drops. In extreme situations, some patients require operating room surgery to stabilize their glaucoma. Even with laser surgery or operating room surgery, some patients may require a lifetime of eye drop medication usage to stabilize their glaucoma. All glaucoma patients need to be followed regularly to be certain that their glaucoma is adequately managed and not progressing to blindness.

There are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing glaucoma. These risk factors include: age over forty years old, African-American or Hispanic race, history of eye trauma, family history of glaucoma, and “large” optic nerves. Because glaucoma is a painless and symptomless disease that affects millions of American each year, it is important to have regular dilated eye exams by a highly trained eye care professional that is able to recognize this disease. If you have any of the risk factors listed above, or would like to be checked for glaucoma, call the doctors at the Texas Vision & Laser Center today.

Updated as of: 3/26/2020    3:40pm

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Overview:  Our patient’s health and care remains our top priority.

In response to guidance from local, state and federal authorities, Texas Vision & Laser Center is adapting to the rapidly changing environment in numerous ways including modifying clinic hours, procedures and protocols.

In light of this unprecedented situation, where things are changing rapidly and often, we request that you help us keep patients and our staff safe by: 

Communicating directly with our staff (3 days before your appointment - by phone, text or chat), to ensure that we are open and so we can advise you of new check in protocols.  (Please ignore ‘automatic’ appointment reminders from our office until further notice.)

Calling or texting us if you need to reschedule, so we can have our office staffed appropriately.

Calling and rescheduling if: 

  • You have tested positive or presumptive positive for COVID-19.
  • Anyone you have been in contact with has COVID-19 or has tested presumptive positive for it.
  • You know you have been in contact with anyone who was in contact with someone who has or has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.
  • You have been out of the state of Texas in the last 21 days.
  • You have been out of the country in the last 21 days.
  • If you have a cough, fever or any other COVID-19 symptom.

The health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority and you can expect greatly enhanced protocols for reducing the spread of infection including increased disinfection of our office, equipment, furniture etc., limiting the number of people in our office, screening all who enter for fever and other COVID-like symptoms, ensuring social distance and more.

Texas Vision & Laser Center will continue to monitor the situation and do everything in our power to provide service to all our patients who need it, while following the recommendations and guidelines of authorities and medical best practices.

Texas Vision & Laser Center 

Call or Text:  972-548-2015

 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT PAGE

WHERE WE WILL POST UPDATES & PROVIDE

COMPLETE & UP-TO-THE-MINUTE INFORMATION