Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. While glaucoma can’t be cured, David Fuerst, MD and Nicole Fuerst, MD offer medical, laser, and surgical options to control your glaucoma and prevent vision loss. If you’re looking for the best ophthalmologists in the Glendale and West Covina, California areas to protect your vision, call the office nearest you, or use the online booking tool to schedule a glaucoma evaluation at Fuerst Eye Center
Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve that's caused by increased pressure in the eye. Elevated eye pressure develops when the eye’s internal drainage system doesn’t work properly. The optic nerve is sensitive to the higher pressure, which can lead to progressive deterioration of your vision.
You may notice these symptoms as the condition progresses:
Early glaucoma usually has no symptoms. Over time, untreated glaucoma will cause loss of parts of the visual field (side vision). Eventually, glaucoma can lead to blindness. It’s important to schedule regular visits with your eye doctor to detect and catch the condition early to slow its progression.
Depending on the severity and presentation of your condition, your ophthalmologist may treat glaucoma in one of the following ways:
Eye drops are often the first form of glaucoma treatment. Prescription eye drops can either slow fluid production or improve drainage to decrease the amount of pressure inside your eye. Many different types of eye drops are available. For many patients, once-daily eye drops are sufficient to control the eye pressure and prevent worsening of glaucoma.
The providers at Fuerst Eye Center may use laser therapy to control your glaucoma.
Laser peripheral iridotomy, (LPI), is a laser treatment used to treat or prevent angle-closure glaucoma and individuals at risk for angle-closure glaucoma with anatomically narrow angles. This protects the eye from sudden increases in eye pressure and helps prevent scar formation in the drainage tracts of the eye. LPI is performed in the office. It is safe, relatively painless and only takes a few minutes to perform.
Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is performed in the office to open clogged drainage channels. It is a safe, painless procedure that takes only a few minutes to perform. SLT may reduce the need for topical glaucoma drops.
Laser cyclophotocoagulation (CPC) is performed in a surgery center. It is generally reserved for more advanced, or difficult to control, glaucoma.
If eye drops are inadequate, your doctor may prescribe oral prescription medication. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may be used to reduce the production of eye fluid.
If your condition progresses and other therapies aren’t effective anymore, then your doctor may recommend surgery. Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS), trabeculectomy, and glaucoma valve implantation are three of the main surgical treatments for glaucoma. Combined glaucoma and cataract surgery is done routinely to improve both conditions at the same time.
Many surgical techniques are available to help reduce the effects of glaucoma. At Fuerst Eye Center, the expert ophthalmologists offer minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) to help treat glaucoma at the same time as cataract surgery.
Surgeons commonly use one of several MIGS techniques for combined cataract and glaucoma surgery. They use microscopic equipment and incisions, sometimes placing tiny stents, tubes, or shunts to improve drainage in the eye. MIGS devices are covered by most insurance and help decrease the need for eye drops or other treatments after surgery. We highly recommend MIGS to all patients who are candidates.
If you’re looking for an eye surgeon who specializes in treating glaucoma with cataract surgery, contact Fuerst Eye Center by phone or request a consultation online.