Common Glaucoma Questions

What is glaucoma?
Does glaucoma cause symptoms?
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
How is glaucoma treated?
What is DURYSTA?
What is a goniotomy?
Still have questions?

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a general medical term to describe eye conditions that can damage your optic nerve. The damage most often develops from excess pressure placed on the nerve. An increase in eye pressure develops when too much of the aqueous fluid inside your eye is produced and isn’t able to properly drain through the trabecular meshwork found at the corner of your eye where your cornea and iris meet.Many eye conditions cause glaucoma, including:
  • Open-angle glaucoma
    Open-angle glaucoma is the most common cause of glaucoma. With this type of glaucoma, there is blockage through the trabecular meshwork, resulting in the buildup of fluid.
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
    With angle-closure glaucoma, the fluid is unable to drain due to a bulging iris that blocks the corner between the iris and cornea.
  • Normal-tension glaucoma
    Normal-tension glaucoma refers to optic nerve damage not due to pressure. The exact cause of this type of glaucoma isn’t fully known. You could also be at risk of developing glaucoma if it runs in your family, you’re over 60, have suffered an eye injury, or you’re extremely farsighted or nearsighted.


Does glaucoma cause symptoms?

Glaucoma can develop without you knowing it. But you can experience certain symptoms depending on the type of glaucoma you have. These symptoms include:

  • Tunnel vision
  • Patchy blind spots
  • Headaches
  • Eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Eye redness

If you’re experiencing any vision changes, contact Cohen Laser & Vision Center for a comprehensive eye exam.


How is glaucoma diagnosed?

The team at Cohen Laser & Vision Center do a comprehensive eye exam when you come to the office with concerns about vision. To determine if you’re at risk of glaucoma, the team will do specific tests, including:

  • Measuring intraocular pressure
  • Testing for optic nerve damage
  • Measuring your field of vision
  • Measuring corneal thickness
  • Assessing your ocular anatomy

Based on the information gathered during your comprehensive eye exam, the team will then determine the best course of action.

How is glaucoma treated?

Glaucoma can’t be cured, but with the right care from the team at Cohen Laser & Vision Center, you can stop its progression and save what is left of your eyesight. Treating glaucoma often includes using prescription eye drops to improve the flow or reduce the production of eye fluid. The experienced ophthalmology team at Cohen Laser & Vision Center could also suggest surgery to improve fluid drainage from your eye and reduce pressure on your optic nerve. Surgical options include:

  • Laser surgery
  • Filtering surgery
  • Drainage tubes
  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)
  • Laser Trabeculoplasty (for open-angle glaucoma)
  • Laser Iridotomy (for narrow or closed-angle glaucoma)

To schedule an appointment with the experienced team, call Cohen Laser & Vision Center today or request an appointment online. The practice serves those in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Boynton Beach, and all of Palm Beach County.


What is DURYSTA?

DURYSTA by Allergan is the first FDA approved sustained-release intraocular biodegradable implant designed to lower eye pressure and prevent glaucoma-related vision loss.  The incredibly small implant is pre-loaded in a single-use applicator for placement in the anterior chamber, behind the cornea.  Once implant it dissolves over time releasing the bimatoprost medication for continuous pressure-reduction for about a year.  


It's a great option for those unable to use regular glaucoma drops due to difficulty applying them, compliance concerns, or eye irritation since it bypasses the corneal surface.  Another benefit is the confidence and peace-of-mind knowing that your medication is consistently being released day or night.  It's one of several MIG (minimally-invasive glaucoma) treatments offered at CLVC.  Call today to see if DURYSTA is appropriate for you.  

Learn more about DURYSTA here.


What is a goniotomy?

A goniotomy is a surgical procedure designed to lower eye pressure in patients with low to moderate glaucoma. The goal is to remove a section the eye's filter, the trabecular meshwork, to facilitate more drainage of aqueous fluid out of the eye. The doctors at CLVC can perform goniotomies several ways, but one preferred method is the Kahook Dual Blade (KDB) GLIDE system from Allergan, which uses a specially designed instrument to safely scoop out the trabecular meshwork in under 5 minutes. What's nice about this procedure is that it provides years of pressure relief that can lower a patient's need for glaucoma eye drops, and doesn't use any implants that remain in the eye after surgery. Also, this amazing technique can be used as a stand-alone procedure or after cataract surgery as a combined procedure. Not all glaucoma patients are suitable for this procedure, so call CLVC today to see if this is right for you! Watch a video about goniotomy:  

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Call us now at (561)981-8400, or request an appointment online here.