Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide and currently affects nearly 2.5 million people in the US. Each year, approximately 2.5 million new patients are diagnosed with glaucoma worldwide.
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
- High eye pressure
- Family history of glaucoma
- Advanced age
- African heritage
- Thin corneas
How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
Diagnosing glaucoma early is essential in preventing permanent damage to the eye. Because there are no symptoms in the early stages of glaucoma, patients with risk factors for glaucoma should have their eyes examined regularly. If you are at high risk, your doctor may perform a ‘pressure test,’ or tonometry, in which he or she will apply a numbing eye drop before measuring the pressure inside your eyes with a special tonometer. Your doctor or ophthalmologist may also conduct other tests depending on what signs and symptoms they observe.
Glaucoma Treatment at Cascade Eye & Skin Centers
If diagnosed with glaucoma, patients are typically prescribed eye drops to decrease intraocular pressure (glaucoma medications), which is the only way the disease can be managed. Surgery is also available for some patients to prevent further loss of vision.
Patients of Cascade Eye & Skin Centers and referral patients from all over Washington state receive evaluations and treatment from our skilled ophthalmologists. These physicians have had advanced training in the treatment of glaucoma and have been managing challenging cases for many years.
While most cases of glaucoma can be managed with SLT, eye drops, and timely follow-up appointments to monitor for changes, some patients require incisional surgery at Cascade’s Ambulatory Surgery Center on the Puyallup campus.
At our ambulatory surgery center, our highly competent staff is involved with ensuring that each patient receives compassionate care. Glaucoma surgeries – such as a trabeculectomy or a glaucoma tube-shunt implant – are performed by board-certified ophthalmologists who concentrate on treating glaucoma through medical and surgical interventions.