Advanced glaucoma testing and treatments in Laguna Hills
An estimated three million people in this country have a progressive eye condition called glaucoma. About half do not realize they have it. That is one of the reasons glaucoma is responsible for up to 12 percent of all cases of blindness in the U.S. Fortunately, outstanding screening technologies and expert treatments are available to patients in the Laguna Hills area, at the Orange County Eye Institute.
Two types of glaucoma
Glaucoma is a family of disorders that damage the optic nerve. The most common forms of the disease are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.
The eye is equipped with drainage canals that continually tap off fluid, maintaining ideal intraocular (IOL) pressure. With open-angle glaucoma, the angle and distance between the iris and cornea remain wide and open. This area houses spongy tissues which are intended to allow continuously flowing fluid to exit the anterior chamber. However, when drainage canals slowly become clogged, the build-up gradually generates excessive pressure, which harms the optic nerve.
Impairment initially occurs at the periphery of the field of vision, so it often goes unnoticed. In addition, some people with elevated eye pressure do not develop glaucoma, and others who do not have increased eye pressure will get glaucoma (a variation called normal-tension glaucoma). Regardless, once detected, steps can be taken to slow the progress of this vision-thief, but existing optic nerve damage cannot be repaired.
Thus, annual comprehensive eye examinations with dilation are essential in catching the disease early.
Angle-closure glaucoma is an acute condition requiring immediate medical attention. When the angle between the cornea and iris is narrow or closed and drainage canals become blocked, pressure builds up quickly. A person experiencing angle-closure glaucoma will have reddened eyes, blurred vision, nausea, and severe pain. Without emergency treatment, blindness can result.
Do you have glaucoma?
There are few warning signs of open-angle glaucoma. There is no pain, patient’s feel fine, and initially there is no change in central vision. By the time side vision is noticeably compromised, the disease is well-advanced.
As a Board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. George Salib has extensive training and experience in diagnosis of glaucoma. As a compassionate human being, he is ardent about intercepting glaucoma at the earliest stage possible, for optimal preservation of vision.
Here are some of the tests he performs to determine if the condition is present, and the stage of the disease. Please note that none of the tests for glaucoma are painful.
Visual acuity is tested using an eye chart to gauge how clearly you see at various distances. A visual field test (Dr. Salib uses two different types of machines for this) is extremely important for detection of glaucoma. This test measures scope of vision. Mapping each field of each eye helps to reveal blind spots and areas of dim side vision.
These tests, however, are subjective, reflecting the patient’s perspective on vision quality. Dr. Salib further assesses eyes with:
- Dilated eye exam – Eye drops are administered to open pupils. Under magnification, Dr. Salib examines interior structures of the eye, including the optic nerve, for signs of damage.
- Optic nerve analyzer – Using light to produce high-resolution images of the optic nerve and to measure thickness of nerve fibers.
- Tonometry – A special instrument measures IOP. Dr. Salib uses a type of tonometer that accomplishes this without the unsettling puff of air into the eye.
- Pachymetry – Utilizing ultrasonic wave instrument to evaluation corneal thickness. Why does corneal thickness matter? Tonometry can read artificially low IOP for thin corneas, leading to unnecessary worry and treatment.
Tailored treatments help glaucoma patients in Laguna Hills preserve vision
Dr. Salib compiles exam findings to design a personalized treatment plan. With early detection, glaucoma can usually be controlled with medication. Eye drops or pills reduce fluid production in the eye and improve drainage.
For patients of the Orange County Eye Institute, selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is also a treatment option. With this “cold laser” technique energy is precisely directed at specific tissues in the eye, triggering a biological modification that fosters better drainage. There is minimal discomfort or downtime with SLT, but the procedure may need to be repeated after several years.
CALL OUR OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION(949) 441-5444
Conventional surgery involves creating a new opening to allow fluid to leave the anterior chamber. If this treatment is advised, it can be performed on site in the surgical suite at The Orange County Eye Institute.At the Orange County Eye Institute, our goal is to help you see clearly for life. Call (949) 441-5444 to schedule an examination with Dr. Salib.Back to Glaucoma Page