Glaucoma Care: What You Need to Know

Image of two old men wearing glasses.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, reports the Glaucoma Research Foundation. This common eye condition typically affects older adults, although infants and young adults are also at risk. Fortunately, however, cutting-edge research is improving diagnosis and treatment of this common eye disease. Talk to your optometrist about glaucoma care for the latest information about treatment options.

Causes and Symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition characterized by increased pressure within the eye, which damages the optic nerve that sends visual information to the brain. Most cases of glaucoma are called open-angle glaucoma, which occurs when drainage channels are partially blocked and cause gradual increases in intraocular pressure. The primary symptom of open-angle glaucoma is gradual loss of peripheral vision. Acute angle closure glaucoma, on the other hand, occurs when the iris bulges and suddenly blocks drainage channels. This form of glaucoma causes rapid pressure increases, associated with eye pain, nausea, and vision problems.

Traditional Glaucoma Care

For many years, the approach to glaucoma care included medications in the form of eye drops. The traditional approach most commonly featured beta blocker eye drops, which were used to alleviate intraocular pressure. Many patients disliked beta blockers because of their adverse side effects. Surgery was another alternative for severe cases of glaucoma, but surgical techniques often came with unpleasant side effects as well.

Advances in Glaucoma Care

Pharmaceutical Treatments

Today, improved medication options and surgical procedures offer hope for patients with glaucoma. Many individuals now use prostaglandin eye drops, which are more effective at reducing intraocular pressure and come with fewer side effects than beta blockers. Recent studies have found a single injection of anecortave acetate, a steroid medication, to effectively lower intraocular pressure to normal limits. Other pharmaceutical treatments, including alpha-adrenergic agonists or miotic agents, are also used in glaucoma treatment. New classes of medications continue to be investigated.

Surgical Treatments

New surgical techniques are also being employed. Glaucoma experts are excited about micropulse laser trabeculoplasty (MLT), a surgery that uses a laser pulse to reduce intraocular pressure. MLT has a lower risk of side effects than more traditional surgical options. Canaloplasty, in which is tiny catheter is placed into the eye’s drainage canal, is another new surgical technique to lower intraocular pressure. One of the most exciting advances in glaucoma care is the Trabectome procedure, which improves fluid drainage in the eye. This surgery is performed in out-patient clinics, allowing patients to undergo surgery and return home the same day.

Source:
Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Contact us to request an appointment today.

Patients with Insurance receive30% off Second pair, and BOGO 50% off

Testimonials

  • While vacationing in Orange Beach, I had something that jabbed me in the eye and punctured my cornea. I called the Orange Beach office and they got me in quickly. The staff was so friendly and helpful. Dr. Leonard explained things very well and put me at ease. Hats off...

    - Jason N. - Google Review
  • I have been going to Dr. Leonard for over 20 years. She always gives me the best honest answers &/or suggestions. I trust her to the fullest. I now take my 3 year old daughter to Dr. Leonard as well. My eye insurance isn’t accepted there anymore but I don’t...

    - Dae P. - Google Review
  • Everyone has such a warm personality that it makes you feel like a friend! Excellent service....

    - Rosaly T. - Google Review
  • I am here @ Orange beach for vacation & one of my contacts washed away in the ocean. My family and I are from Texas, so I called the very next day. I literally had a pair of contacts waiting on me in 5 minutes to be picked up. Ms....

    - Lauren G. - Google Review
  • I was very impressed by the Dr. and staff at Coastal Family Eyecare. From the moment I walked through the door I was met with professional, caring and very knowledgeable people. I highly recommend them and will be returning for all my future vision needs....

    - Maureen M. - Google Review
Loading data form the api failed!

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Orange Beach Office

Monday

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuesday

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Wednesday

Closed for Thanksgiving

Thursday

Closed for Thanksgiving

Friday

Closed for Thanksgiving

Saturday

Closed

Sunday

Closed

Pensacola Office

Monday

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuesday

8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Wednesday

8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Thursday

Closed for Thanksgiving

Friday

Closed for Thanksgiving

Saturday

Closed

Sunday

Closed

Orange Beach Office

Monday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday
Closed for Thanksgiving
Thursday
Closed for Thanksgiving
Friday
Closed for Thanksgiving
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Pensacola Office

Monday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thursday
Closed for Thanksgiving
Friday
Closed for Thanksgiving
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Locations

Find us on the map