Glaucoma: What Happens Next?
Glaucoma is one of the common eye diseases that creates a concern for vision loss. Hearing that you have glaucoma can be frightening. Many patients wonder what comes next, how they will manage glaucoma if their diagnosis means they will lose their eyesight. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you may be wondering these same things. If you’re like a lot of patients, you may be wondering but not asking. Here, we want to discuss what happens after a glaucoma diagnosis.
Steps to Glaucoma Treatment
Perhaps “treatment” is not the best description of what happens after glaucoma has been diagnosed. To say that we treat glaucoma may give the impression that this condition can be reversed. In reality, glaucoma cannot be cured. After diagnosis, our attention goes to management. Specifically, the effects of glaucoma must be managed to protect the optic nerve. This is usually achieved with prescription eye drops or other medication formulated to reduce pressure within the eye.
Medication is only one step that we take to manage glaucoma. Another step is consistent follow-up. Patients with glaucoma are scheduled for eye exams several times a year. Not your average how-well-do-you-see eye exam; an assessment of various aspects of the eye. Glaucoma eye exams may include:
- Dilation to widen pupils for extensive observation of the back of the eye. When the pupils are dilated, we can see the optic nerve and the degree of compression that exists.
- Corneal thickness screening, which may be valuable in better understanding the measure of intraocular pressure.
- Intraocular pressure measurement.
- Visual field testing to evaluate the clarity of peripheral vision.
More frequent follow-up enables us to manage glaucoma efficiently. The details of the eye that are observed during these visits provide us with insight into the effectiveness of the existing treatment protocol and the potential need for adjustment. Frequent evaluation also allows us to determine the rate of progression of glaucoma so we can tailor treatment accordingly.
Pasadena Eye Associates provides comprehensive ophthalmology services including the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases. To schedule a visit with us, call 713-473-5715.