Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the optic nerve, causing loss of peripheral vision. Untreated glaucoma can lead to blindness. Fortunately, glaucoma is often preventable. Early detection is the key to preventing serious vision loss or blindness from glaucoma.
There are two basic types of glaucoma: Open angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. Slowly, damage to the optic nerve cause loss of the peripheral vision. High ocular pressure is a common feature of open-angle glaucoma, Since this form of glaucoma is typically gradual and painless, patients will not be aware of a problem. Lowering eye pressure can slow or halt visual loss.
Angle-closure glaucoma affects less than ten percent of glaucoma patients. Pain, redness and blurred vision may occur suddenly in one eye. Vision can be preserved with prompt, effective treatment. The treatment for angle-closure glaucoma, or narrow-angle glaucoma, is generally initiated with a laser to open the drainage channels of the eye.
At Eye Physicians of Northampton, Drs. Bleiman, Hubbe, and Shatz employ state-of-the-art therapy for detecting and treating glaucoma. In addition to traditional methods of treatment, they offer Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT.) SLT is a new laser therapy which has been effective in treating open angle glaucoma. This quick, in-office laser procedure can reduce ocular pressure for most patients with glaucoma. SLT can reduce or eliminate the need for daily eyedrops.