Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Sometimes called the “silent thief of sight,” Glaucoma can damage your vision so gradually that you don’t notice any loss of vision until the disease is at an advanced stage.

Glaucoma is an eye condition that develops when too much fluid pressure builds up inside of the eye. This increase in pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. If damage to the optic nerve from high eye pressure continues, Glaucoma will cause loss of vision.

Without treatment, Glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years. Because most people with Glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from this increased pressure, it is important to have regular routine eye exams so that Glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before long-term visual loss occurs.

If you have questions about Glaucoma, or to schedule an eye exam, please call us at 919.967.4836.

Is Glaucoma Hereditary?
A family history of glaucoma does increase the incidence of glaucoma in family members and a routine ophthalmologic examination should be scheduled.
What is the difference between ocular hypertension and glaucoma?
Ocular hypertension describes the condition where the intraocular pressure is above normal. Glaucoma describes the condition where there is damage to the eye associated with elevated intraocular pressure.
Is it possible to have glaucoma and cataracts at the same time?
Glaucoma and cataracts often appear together, as they are commonly present in older patients. There are many new surgical techniques which can help patients with both of these conditions.
What is SLT?

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser procedure that is used to lower intraocular pressure in patients with open angle glaucoma.  It has been in use in the United States and other parts of the world for over 25 years.  This treatment for glaucoma can be used as a first line treatment and can be used instead of or in combination with traditional glaucoma medications to help achieve lower pressures.  The SLT laser is also referred to as a “cold” laser because it has minimal heat energy that is absorbed only by specific parts of the eye. 

The SLT works by stimulating the part of your eye responsible for the drainage of the fluid from the front part of the eye.  This causes a chemical and biological change that allow the eye to better drain the excess fluid and helps to prevent the pressure from becoming elevated.  It can take one to three months before the full effects of the treatment are achieved.  SLT laser is considered to be as effective as prostaglandin medications that are the most powerful and commonly prescribed medications for glaucoma. The effects from the laser generally last from one to five years and sometimes can last even longer.  The laser can be safely repeated in most cases although the subsequent treatments may not be as effective as the initial procedure. The effects of the laser do not reduce the effectiveness of other glaucoma treatments that may be necessary.

SLT is approved by the FDA for treatment of glaucoma and is covered by Medicare and most medical insurance.

Enjoy Life! With better Vision

Stop struggling with your eyesight! Now is the time to schedule your cataract evaluation with Dr. Penke at Carolina Ophthalmology. Why not take our Self Evaluation Test to get started?

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