Glaucoma is a group of diseases that result in damaged optic nerves, which may ultimately lead to blindness. According to recent reports, there are improved glaucoma management methods on the horizon. Local eye doctor Northview Eye Care shares an overview of the present and possible future of glaucoma management.
What is Glaucoma?
Today, more than 2.7 million Americans over the age of 40 are diagnosed with glaucoma. Despite being the second leading cause of blindness in developing countries, it doesn’t show symptoms. Glaucoma patients don’t feel pain or experience blurring that precedes their condition. Glaucoma is characterized by loss of peripheral vision, leading to tunnel vision and even blindness. There is no known treatment that can reverse glaucoma once the damage to the optic nerves has set in. It can, however, be slowed down, or even stopped if detected and treated while in its early stages.
Eye care professionals like us recommend investing in a comprehensive dilated eye exam. An eye care professional will administer drops of ophthalmic atropine onto the eyes, which will make the pupils dilate. This lets the eye doctor perform a thorough inspection of the back of the eyes. Signs of glaucoma can be detected using this method.
Patients who show signs of glaucoma doesn’t immediately undergo vision therapy. In many cases, particularly with children, one or more additional visits will be needed before a recommendation can be made. Persons afflicted with glaucoma are prescribed with drops or pills, as well as significant lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, more exercise and giving up smoking.
Improved Management Methods
A specialist at the recent OSN (Ocular Surgery News) Italy meeting, future glaucoma management may require less use of daily medications such as eye drops. Glaucoma patients who participated in a study were treated using Laser in Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension (LiGHT). 74% of these patients didn’t have to use eyedrops for as long as 36 months. Other methods that are being studied include sustained delivery implants, which basically introduces medication straight to the eyes without intervention. While these methods are still under study, they may become standard treatment for future glaucoma patients.
Northview Eye Care is your leading provider of contact lenses and eye care services. Give us a call at (616) 202-1095 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Grand Rapids, MI, and the surrounding areas.