Glaucoma is a common eye condition that affects about 3 million people. The vast majority of glaucoma is called open angle or primary glaucoma. In this form of glaucoma ,the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open as it should be. In open angle glaucoma the pressure in the eye can be high and cause silent damage to the optic nerve. Angle closure glaucoma is a much less common form of glaucoma and is caused by a narrowing of the space between the iris and the cornea. Angle closure glaucoma can result in an acute attack with rapid loss of vision and severe pain. Risk factors for glaucoma include: Age over 60, family history, african -american race, diabetes, and eye trauma.
Testing for glaucoma looks at many factors and is accomplished by a thorough eye exam and various test. Eye pressure is checked with a device called a tonometer, the thickness of the cornea is measured, the angle where the iris meets the cornea is measured, a visual field is performed and the optic nerve is analyzed by direct visualization through a dilated pupil and by scanning devices called oculo coherence tomographers.
Glaucoma treatment can be accomplished by using eye drops to help lower eye pressure, laser, and surgical procedures. Daily use of eye drops are used to lower pressure to a target range. An in office laser known as selective laser trabeculoplastycan be used to lower eye pressure. New surgical technology such as istent, cypass, and XEN are emerging as excellent option for patients with glaucoma.