Glaucoma, the silent thief of sight, robs more than 3 million Americans of their vision.
And it is estimated that half of the people who live with glaucoma are not aware they have the disease.
The good news? Early detection, through regular and complete eye exams, is the best protection against glaucoma.
There are certain conditions that make patients a higher risk for glaucoma, such as family history, severe nearsightedness (high myopia), increasing age, Hispanic or African American heritage, diabetes, and hypertension. Screening for glaucoma should include a few key components: tonometry, slit-lamp examination of the anterior chamber angles, and a dilated examination of the optic nerve. Abnormalities in any of these key parts of the exam will lead us toward further testing such as optic nerve imaging and visual field perimetry, ultimately helping us to answer the question: is it glaucoma?
Once a diagnosis of glaucoma is made, the patient’s options may include prescription eyedrops, laser treatments, medication injections, surgery, or a combination of the above. To truly find the right treatment for the patient, it is best to refer to a glaucoma specialist, as they are trained in specialized techniques that have proven to be very effective in treating the disease.
Fortunately, today’s technological advances in the treatment of glaucoma have revolutionized the way eye doctors care for our patients. These advances in surgical and medication options help minimize the burden of the disease and prevent the loss of sight.
For patients with both cataracts and glaucoma, we are now able to combine these surgery procedures into one session, allowing the surgeon to insert glaucoma treatment devices at the time of cataract extraction. This is additionally beneficial for certain patients, as the cataract can sometimes negatively affect the pressure of the eye.
I'm excited to have joined Horizon Eye Specialists: a practice known for its high quality of care, a place where I'll be able to help more patients in treating their disease, preserving their vision, and improving their quality of life.
--Sara R. Ghobraiel, M.D.
Dr. Sara R. Ghobraiel, M.D., cataract and glaucoma surgeon