Glaucoma is a complex disease with a progression that can be difficult to detect without the aid of qualified specialists. From conducting detailed examinations to providing modern medical and surgical treatment, Drs. Price Kloess, Andrew Velazquez, and Andrew Bartlett are dedicated to preventing vision loss due to this condition. Alabama Vision Center offers comprehensive glaucoma care to help patients in Birmingham, Mountain Brook, and Homewood preserve sight and enjoy the benefits of long-term eye health.
There are two major types of glaucoma: open-angle and closed-angle. In both instances, vision impairment occurs over time due to ocular nerve damage. This causes an imbalance of fluid within the affected eye and an unhealthy increase in intraocular pressure (IOP).Open-angle glaucoma is the most common variety and exhibits few symptoms aside from gradually diminished eyesight. Those with this condition may eventually notice decreased peripheral vision or empty spaces in their sight (scotomata), but often do not seek care until blindness has begun to set in. While less common, closed-angle glaucoma is a true medical emergency with symptoms that include significant eye pain, headaches, nausea and vomiting, and sudden onset of blurred vision. If you are experiencing any of these signs, contact our office immediately. Vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. This makes it all the more important to undergo an evaluation if you are 40 years old or older or have a family history of glaucoma. The team of specialists at our Birmingham practice have the education and practical experience to accurately assess your eye health. To detect the presence of glaucoma and determine how far the disease has progressed, we perform an array of tests, such as a visual field test, non-invasive imaging via Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), tonometry, and pachymetry. Each measures different aspects of your vision and ocular structures in order to uncover signs commonly associated with glaucoma.
At Alabama Vision Center, we support our thorough eye health assessments with suitably comprehensive treatment. Each patient’s eye exhibits unique and individual complexities and our doctors design plans to reflect this. Particularly in the case of glaucoma, Drs. Kloess, Velazquez, and Bartlett provide a number of minimally invasive therapeutic and surgical solutions. These options include:
Eye Drop Therapy – Proven in many cases to effectively manage IOP, this is often the first option our doctors turn to when addressing glaucoma. We offer a variety of eye drops, ranging from those that relax eye muscles to those that decrease internal fluid production. Depending on your medical history and the extent of your condition, we may recommend either daily treatment with a single type of medication or a combination of antiglaucoma eye drops.Laser Surgery - Our practice offers laser procedures as either a supplement or alternative to eye drop therapy. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), a painless outpatient surgery, may be performed in the case of open-angle glaucoma to shrink eye tissue and allow internal fluids to drain more efficiently. Our doctors may recommend a procedure called iridotomy to clear the blockage from an iris enlarged by closed-angle glaucoma.Microinvasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) – This method minimizes the complications associated with standard glaucoma surgeries as exemplified during placement of the Glaukos iStent®. All surgeons at Alabama Vision Center possess the specialized training required to perform MIGS and prefer the increased safety this surgical option provides for qualified patients.
Our main priority is to preserve your vision through accurate diagnosis and effective, minimally invasive care. If you would like to know more about glaucoma and our approach to treatment, contact our Birmingham practice today and schedule a consultation.
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