If you cannot remember the last time you had an eye exam, it’s safe to say you are long overdue for a check. Even if you are not experiencing any vision problems, there are certain serious conditions that have no early symptoms. Glaucoma is one of those conditions.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. It is often caused by increased eye pressure that builds up and eventually destroys optic nerve fibers. Once this occurs, you have irreversible vision loss.
Unfortunately, there are no early symptoms of glaucoma: no pain, no vision loss. There may be loss of peripheral vision, but that may not be noticeable. The good news is that eye doctors are trained to identify elevated eye pressure and can diagnose glaucoma early so treatment can be administered as quickly as possible.
Glaucoma Treatment Options
Prescription eye drops, oral medications and laser treatments are often very effective in helping control elevated eye pressure. If these are not effective, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Zarmeena Vendal performs:
- Canaloplasty: Dr. Vendal was the first glaucoma surgeon in Austin to perform this procedure. The drainage canal of the eye is enlarged and permanently distended to lower eye pressure.
- Trabeculetomy: this procedure involves creating a permanent open channel between the inside and outside of the eye so fluid can escape.
- Ahmed Valve Implant: a silicone drainage device is permanently implanted onto the white of the eye, allowing excess fluid to escape through a tube. It is not visible to the naked eye.
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT): a laser procedure for open-angle glaucoma to drain fluids from the eye and lower eye pressure.
Westlake Eye Specialists is a leader in Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgeries (MIGS) that can be performed at the same time as cataract surgery for patients with both conditions (cataracts and glaucoma).
- iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass: this is the first MIGS device to improve fluid outflow by creating a permanent opening in the trabecular meshwork. It is very small and invisible to the human eye.
- CyPass® Micro-Stent: we were the first practice in Austin to implant this micro-stent that was FDA approved in January 2017. This uniquely shaped stent is placed just below the surface of the eye to create a new pathway for fluid to escape between the white of the eye and the ciliary body.
- XEN® Gel Stent: we were one of the first practices in Austin to implant this small, soft and flexible tube placed under the conjunctiva of the eye (clear membrane that covers the white of the eye) to lower eye pressure.
We encourage you to schedule an eye exam now to stay proactive with your eye health. Early detection of glaucoma could be the difference between serious eye damage (even blindness) and clear vision for life. Contact the glaucoma doctors at Westlake Eye Specialists today at (512) 472-4011 or https://www.westlakeeyes.com/contact-us/ to schedule an eye exam.