What is Glaucoma?
What is glaucoma and how much does glaucoma surgery cost are two of the top glaucoma FAQs we are often asked at Advanced Cataract & Glaucoma Care PLLC. This page provide answers to frequently asked questions about glaucoma.
What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is known as The Sneak Thief of Sight. Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually steals your vision. Usually, glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages. Without proper treatment, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
How does glaucoma lead to permanent vision loss? An abnormal buildup of inner pressure of the eye (intraocular pressure or IOP) leads to nerve damage to the optic nerve of the eye.
What symptoms are there? Usually NONE until there is severe damage. This is why glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight”. Due to the usual gradual rise in pressure and vision loss occurring peripherally at first, most do not detect glaucoma until it is quite advanced.
Can glaucoma be cured or reversed? So far there is no CURE for glaucoma, but there are many treatments that can control or slow the disease.
How can glaucoma be treated? Glaucoma is most commonly treated with medications (usually in the form of eye drops), laser (to restore the natural fluid flow within the eye), or glaucoma surgery to create new flow within the eye and surrounding tissues. You and Dr. Sheets can discuss which option(s) are best for you.
Who gets glaucoma? ANYONE. Approximately 1% of Americans have glaucoma. Those at higher risk are those who are > 60 years old, are of African, Asian or Hispanic descent, have relatives with glaucoma, are very nearsighted or farsighted, on steroids, have high eye pressures, have thin corneas, or have had eye injuries or certain eye surgeries.
When should I get my eyes checked for glaucoma? If you are under 40, every 2-4 years. If you are 40-54, every 1-3 years. If you are 55-64, every 1-2 years. If you are 65 or older, every 6-12 months. If you have risk factors, you may need to be checked more frequently.
Can I get glaucoma if my eye pressures are normal? Since high intraocular pressure isn’t the only factor, some patients get glaucoma with normal pressures (normal-tension glaucoma) due to other factors such as thin corneas, which may mask higher pressures. Due to this, your doctor will need to perform a comprehensive eye examination to ensure that your eyes are safe.
What should I do now? Make sure that you are seeing Dr. Sheets regularly for professional guidance.
Information from Glaucoma Research Foundation and Clinton W. Sheets, MD
Tampa Bay Ophthalmologist, Glaucoma Specialist and Cataract Surgeon
Frequently Asked Questions About Glaucoma
What is Glaucoma?
Gluacoma is known as the Sneak Thief of Sight. It’s a painless, progressive loss of vision due to eye pressure being too high in the eye.
How Do I Know If I have Glaucoma?
Dr. Sheets can detect glaucoma much earlier than you can. You cannot rely on your senses to determine if you have glaucoma.
How Can Glaucoma Be Treated?
We have many instruments that can be used to help detect glaucoma. We use visual field tests, OCT’s, pachymetry, and a comprehensive eye exam to determine if you have glaucoma and if it’s getting worse.
What Are My Treatment Options?
There lots of specialized eye drops that are available for glaucoma treatment. There are lasers and there are surgeries.
There are newer less invasive surgeries called MIGS surgeries that can be used to help lessen the amount of eye drops that you need.
What Does Glaucoma Surgery Cost?
ThFortunately, glaucoma surgery is covered by most medical insurance. Sometimes, we are able to treat glaucoma and cataracts together in a comprehensive treatment plan.
What Can Patients Do To Treat Glaucoma Themselves?
Unfortunately, there is not much evidence that lifestyle or vitamins are effective in treating advancing glaucoma.
So, it comes down to eye drops, laser or glaucoma surgery. We personalize this treatment for you. We have advanced technology that can pick up glaucoma early. With our personalized care, we have many options available to help you achieve the best outcome.