Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, but vision loss can be minimized with prompt and effective treatment. At Montgomery Eye Care, Dr. Jim Montgomery offers a full range of glaucoma treatment options designed to preserve the sight and eye health of his patients from the Denver, Northglenn, and Westminster, Colorado areas.
Glaucoma is not a single condition, but rather the name for a group of eye diseases that cause optic nerve damage. Most frequently, glaucoma is characterized by increased or high intraocular pressure (IOP). The middle of the eye is filled with a fluid called the aqueous humor, which usually drains through a system of canals called the trabecular network. When too much aqueous humor is produced or this fluid is not properly drained, it results in damage to the optic nerve. Up to 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma, and it is the second most common cause of Trusted SourceDon’t Let Glaucoma Steal Your Sight!Centers for Disease Control and PreventionGo to Sourceblindness worldwide
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Each type of glaucoma presents different symptoms, but there are some glaucoma symptoms that are Trusted SourceGlaucomaCleveland ClinicGo to Sourcecommon to all types
Halos around lights, often appearing in rainbow colors
Types of Glaucoma
There are many types of glaucoma, but the two most common are open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma.
Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is by far the most common form of this disease, accounting for Trusted SourceTypes of GlaucomaNational Eye InstituteGo to Source90% of all glaucoma diagnoses
in the United States. With this type of glaucoma, aqueous humor is not sufficiently drained through the trabecular network, resulting in a buildup of pressure on the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma has no early symptoms.
Closed-angle glaucoma, or acute angle-closure glaucoma, is a rare but serious form of glaucoma. In patients with closed-angle glaucoma, the internal structures of the eye block the drainage system. Closed-angle glaucoma is sudden, and causes vision changes, nausea, eye pain, and headache. This is a medical condition that requires immediate attention.
Another form of glaucoma is known as secondary glaucoma, which is when glaucoma is caused by another medical condition. Types of secondary glaucoma include:
How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
At its earliest stages, glaucoma rarely presents any symptoms. This is yet another reason why it’s crucial to undergo regular eye exams, since the best chance of preventing glaucoma vision loss is early detection and treatment.
The first clinical signs of glaucoma are usually noticed during a non-invasive test called tonometry, which is a part of routine eye examinations and uses a puff of air to evaluate intraocular pressure. A dilated exam will also allow your eye doctor to observe any changes in the appearance of your optic nerve.
If signs of glaucoma are present, your doctor may order a number of further non-invasive tests, including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Humphrey Visual Field test, electrophysiologic tests and gonioscopy.
Glaucoma Treatment Options
Dr. Montgomery has the knowledge, experience, and technology necessary to treat glaucoma effectively and minimize vision loss.
At Montgomery Eye Care, we can address the early symptoms and side effects of glaucoma with nonsurgical treatments, such as medicated eye drops and oral medication to minimize intraocular pressure and fluid retention.
Laser Treatment for Glaucoma
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) may be performed as a first line of treatment for open-angle glaucoma, or it may be performed after medications and prescription eye drops are no longer successful in reducing intraocular pressure. During this laser glaucoma surgery procedure, Dr. Montgomery pinpoints the trabecular network (which drains fluid from the eye) to lower intraocular pressure. On average, Trusted SourceA Schlemm Canal Microstent for Intraocular Pressure Reduction in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma and Cataract: The HORIZON StudySamuelson TW, Chang DF, Marquis R, Flowers B, Lim KS, Ahmed IIK, Jampel HD, Aung T, Crandall AS, Singh K; HORIZON InvestigatorsGo to SourceSLT lowers eye pressure
by up to 35%, and may control a patient’s glaucoma symptoms for a Trusted SourceLaser Treatment for GlaucomaNational Eye InstituteGo to Sourcenumber of years
MIGS: Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Treatment
Utilizing the latest advancements in glaucoma surgery today, Dr. Montgomery performs micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) in order to help minimize a patient’s dependence on glaucoma medications by safely reducing the intraocular eye pressure.
iStent®: Approved by the FDA, this tiny titanium L-shaped device is designed to treat mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma. During this procedure, Dr. Montgomery will administer a local anesthetic, make a small incision in your cornea, and insert the small device into the trabecular network to improve eye fluid flow and permanently alleviate eye pressure.
XEN® Stent: The XEN Gel Stent is a surgical implant designed to lower high eye pressure in open-angle glaucoma patients where previous surgical treatment has failed and/or medications alone were insufficient.
Goniotomy: During goniotomy, Dr. Montgomery makes a tiny opening in the trabecular network so that fluid can flow out of the eye more easily.
A surgical procedure called trabeculotomy may be performed to create a new drainage system in the eye when other glaucoma treatment methods aren’t sufficient.
Frequently Asked Questions About Glaucoma
Who is at risk for glaucoma?
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, but some people are at higher risk than others. Glaucoma is most prevalent in people over the age of 55 and in people who have glaucoma Trusted SourceGlaucomaMayo ClinicGo to Sourcerisk factors
, such as:
A family history of glaucoma
Hispanic, African, or Asian heritage
Sickle cell anemia
High blood pressure
Extreme nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia)
Previous eye surgery
Eye injury or trauma
Use of certain medications
Can glaucoma be prevented?
Glaucoma cannot be prevented. The best way to minimize vision loss from glaucoma is to undergo regular eye exams so that the disease can be treated at its earliest stages.
Is it possible to reverse vision loss from glaucoma?
Unfortunately, optical nerve damage from glaucoma is permanent. This is why it is important to undergo regular eye exams, so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated early.
Treat Your Glaucoma Today
Glaucoma is a serious eye health condition that can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated properly. If you live in the Denver, Northglenn, or Westminster, Colorado area and have been diagnosed with glaucoma, the team at Montgomery Eye Care can provide you with effective glaucoma treatment. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Life changing experience. Dr Montgomery is a true professional who happens to be extremely kind and caring. I have enjoyed working with him and his team.
Dr Montgomery has been my ophthalmologist for several years, I highly recommend him. He always takes the time to answer all my questions. He is compassionate to my concerns re eye surgery and I have grown to trust and respect him a lot.
Very professional and caring physician, whom I feel very confident in. He is very current on the best treatment for whatever eye issue is going on. Also he has a very kind and helpful staff.
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