When your eye doctor diagnoses you with mild open-angle glaucoma, they probably want to begin treatment as soon as possible to reduce the pressure in your eyes. Starting treatments now slows down the progression of glaucoma and improves your vision over time. However, you most likely have many concerns about your eye disease, including how it affects your vision and treatments. Here are things to know about open-angle glaucoma, how your doctor measures the pressure in your eyes, and the most advanced treatment available for your eye disease.
How Does Open-Angle Glaucoma Affect Your Vision?
By now, you have some understanding of what open-angle glaucoma is and how it affects your vision. Open-angle glaucoma typically progresses slowly, which means you experience very little symptoms in the beginning. However, open over time, the eye disease gradually diminishes your vision until you no longer have the ability to focus on objects clearly.
Open-angle glaucoma changes how you see things out of your peripheral or side vision, which is very dangerous in situations that call for vigilance and focus, such as driving at night or walking across a busy street.
The eye disease also interferes with your frontal vision. For example, words on a computer screen seem blurry or fuzzy, especially if you browse the Internet or work on assignments for your job. Wearing reading or prescription glasses usually helps you focus on the words and images better.
Like other types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma affects the optic nerve by creating immense pressure around it. The optic nerve is the tissue that receives stimuli from other tissues of your eyes, such as the cornea and iris. Whatever you see transmits to the optic nerve, which sends it to your brain for processing.
As fluids build up around the optic nerve, you develop headaches, facial pain and numerous other symptoms. In order to release some of the pressure from your optic nerve, fluids leak from the corners of your eyes. If you don't receive treatment for your glaucoma right now, you may gradually go blind.
How Does Your Eye Doctor Measure Optical Pressure?
Your eye doctor offers a great number of treatment options to improve your vision, as well as reduce the pressure around your optic nerves. Keep in mind that open-angle glaucoma damages both eyes. It's critical that you receive treatment for your eye condition now.
One of the main goals of your eye doctor is to slow down the progression of your glaucoma. To do so, the doctor examines your eyes to see how much damage your optic nerves sustained over time. Generally, your ophthalmologist or optometrist uses painless equipment, such as the tonometry device and slit machine, to measure eye pressure.
After the eye doctor measures the pressure in your optic nerve, they plan your treatment. Currently, treatment for mild open-angle glaucoma includes stent surgery.
What Are Your Treatment Options for Mild Open-Angle Glaucoma?
Stent surgery is one of the most advanced optical treatments for mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma. The surgery involves placing a minute device inside both eyes. However, the placement of your stents is critical to the success of slowing down your glaucoma.
Depending on your doctor's examination of your eyes, they place the stents near the canals or tissues used to release fluids from the eyes. Your doctor can also surgically insert your stents just below the surface of your scleras, which are the white parts of the eyes. Both surgeries require the use of a laser to complete.
Performing eye stent surgery by laser minimizes scarring in the eyes and trauma to the optic nerve. Laser technology also reduces your healing time and post-surgery recovery. Your eye surgeon administers general anesthesia or topical anesthetic, depending on the length and depth of your stent surgery.
Your eye doctor discusses all possible placement sites for your stents some time before they schedule your surgery.
If you have immediate or pressing concerns about your mild open-angle glaucoma and stent surgery, contact your eye doctor or see a specialist at a place like Country Hills Eye Center.