Glaucoma

The board-certified ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists at Fraser Eye are dedicated to helping patients with glaucoma in the Detroit area. We are experienced in diagnosing and treating glaucoma, as well as educating patients about their condition and their treatment options for glaucoma.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that is characterized by increased pressure within the eye, which is typically caused by fluid build up in the eye. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve if left untreated, which can result in permanent vision impairment and blindness.
 

What Are The Symptoms of Glaucoma?

There are no symptoms of the most common types of glaucoma, which is why your eye doctor will test for glaucoma during your annual eye exam. It is critical that everyone, and especially anyone with risk factors, has a comprehensive eye exam with an experienced eye doctor at least once a year.

Acute attacks of narrow-angle glaucoma are rare but serious. Symptoms include severe eye pain, headache, nausea, and vision changes such as blurriness and halos. This is a medical emergency and if you think you may be experiencing acute angle-closure glaucoma, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Types of Glaucoma

While glaucoma characteristics can vary, most cases fall into two categories. The primary types of glaucoma are:

  • Open-Angle Glaucoma Also called primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), this is the most common type of glaucoma. This condition occurs when the fluid is not able to drain from the eye as it should, and instead, it builds up and causes eye pressure to increase. Open-angle glaucoma is sometimes referred to as the sneak thief of sight because people affected by it may not feel any symptoms until they have already been stricken with irreversible vision loss. Since there are no symptoms at the onset, yearly eye exams are critical in detecting open-angle glaucoma in order to detect glaucoma early and preserve vision.
  • Narrow-Angle Glaucoma Also called angle-closure glaucoma, occurs when the position of the eye changes in a way that the iris (the colored part of the eye) blocks fluid from draining. Narrow-angle glaucoma can be chronic with no symptoms and gradual vision loss, similar to open-angle glaucoma. However, in more rare cases the iris blocks drainage completely, causing acute acute angle-closure glaucoma or a “glaucoma attack”, which is painful.

Who Gets Glaucoma?

Anyone can get glaucoma, which is why yearly eye exams are important. In the United States, it is estimated that over 3 million people have glaucoma but half of them may not know it1. Many groups, including the World Health Organization and the Glaucoma Research Foundation, agree that glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Some people may be more likely to be affected and some risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Age Glaucoma can affect anyone but occurs most often in people over 40 years old.
  • Ethnicity People of all races experience glaucoma, but rates are proportionately higher in people of African American, Hispanic, or Asian descent.
  • Vision People with severe myopia (nearsightedness) may be at higher risk.
  • Genetics Those with a family history of glaucoma may be at higher risk.
  • Health Conditions including Type 2 Diabetes, blood pressure issues, a history of migraines, and long-term use of steroid medications can increase the risk of glaucoma.

1 The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group, Arch Ophthalmol. 2004; Prevent Blindness America

Can I Prevent Glaucoma?

There are no widely accepted methods to prevent glaucoma, but certain healthy lifestyle practices can have a positive effect on eye health. These habits may help you maintain lower eye pressure, which could prevent glaucoma:

  • Exercise Medical professionals recommend that most people perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days per week.
  • Eat green leafy vegetables These nutritional powerhouses are packed with vitamins that can keep eyes healthy.
  • Wear quality sunglasses Protect eyes from Ultraviolet light.
  • Daily dental hygiene Dental diseases can cause inflammatory reactions, which in turn may affect the optic nerve of the eye.

Can Glaucoma Be Cured?

No, there is no cure for glaucoma. Luckily, there are many reliable diagnostic tools and tests to help your ophthalmologist diagnose glaucoma early. If glaucoma is left undetected and untreated, it will lead to vision loss. Once vision is impaired due to glaucoma, it cannot be restored. Early detection and management is key in preventing vision loss.

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I was referred to Dr. Basha on a glaucoma consult due to an eye injury. For the last year, he has provided treatment to combat extreme eye pressure problems. Dr. Basha is absolutely one of the best glaucoma specialists/ophthalmologists one can find. I strongly recommend Fraser Eye Care Center to anyone in need of medical care.
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B. C., Glaucoma Patient

How is Glaucoma Treated?

If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, the Detroit glaucoma specialists at Fraser Eye will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for you. Our range of glaucoma treatment options includes:

Glaucoma Medications

There are several prescription eye drops available to treat glaucoma, and this is often the initial treatment to manage the condition. Your eye doctor determines which eye drops may work best for you.

Glaucoma Laser Surgery

There are two types of laser surgery to treat glaucoma – Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) and Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT). Each of these procedures is designed to improve the flow of fluid and help the eye drain properly by repairing the drainage tissue. LPI is a laser therapy treatment for patients with narrow-angle glaucoma. SLT utilizes a low powered laser and may be performed multiple times if needed.

Minimally-Invasive or Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

MIGS is an innovative field of glaucoma treatment that is quickly becoming the standard to treat glaucoma which cannot be managed by other treatments. These procedures are combined with cataract treatment, which gives the patient the advantage of having one single surgery to address multiple conditions. The other benefits of MIGS include a quick recovery time and minimal complications. There are several types of MIGS surgeries and your eye surgeon will determine which one is right for you. Options include Glaukos iStent Inject, Allergan XEN and Sight Sciences OMNI720.

Incisional Glaucoma Surgery or Trabeculectomy

During this procedure, the eye surgeon will make very tiny incisions in the whites of the eyes to create a new filtration system for the eye, or they will place a special drainage device in order to relieve pressure in the eye.

Contact the Glaucoma Specialists at Fraser Eye

If you have any risk factors for glaucoma, please schedule a comprehensive eye exam today. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, our specialists can help you find a treatment plan that works for you. Contact us with any questions about glaucoma treatment or to schedule a consultation in Fraser, Warren, or Port Huron.

The Fraser Eye Care Center Doctors have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.


Eye Care Center of Port Huron
1000 Pine Grove Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060
810.982.3200
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Fraser Eye Care Center – Fraser
33080 Utica Road, Suite B
Fraser, MI 48026
586.296.7250
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Fraser Eye Care Center – Warren
28001 Schoenherr Road, Suite 2
Warren, MI 48088
586.756.5060
Monday-Friday: 8:30am-5:00pm
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Fraser Eye Care Center – Royal Oak
621 W. 11 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI, 48067
248.965.0239
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Eye Care Center of Port Huron
1000 Pine Grove Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060
810.982.3200
Monday-Friday: 8:30am-5:00pm

Fraser Eye Care Center - Fraser
33080 Utica Road, Suite B
Fraser, MI 48026
586.296.7250
Monday-Friday: 8:30am-5:00pm

Fraser Eye Care Center - Warren
28001 Schoenherr Road, Suite 2
Warren, MI 48088
586.756.5060
Monday-Friday: 8:30am-5:00pm

Fraser Eye Care Center - Royal Oak
621 W. 11 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI, 48067
248.554.3620
Monday-Friday: 8:30am-5:00pm