What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which is the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain. Glaucoma occurs when fluid buildup in the eye causes excessive intraocular, or internal, pressure.
Although many people fear this potentially sight-robbing condition, early diagnosis and treatment can help maintain your vision for a lifetime. Here at St. Paul Eye Clinic, our board-certified eye specialists use
today’s most advanced diagnostic exams to pinpoint glaucoma in its earliest stages. These diagnostic tools include visual field testing and nerve fiber analysis.
How common is glaucoma?
Over three million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it, which makes it dangerous, as it is the leading cause of blindness. The National Eye Institute
projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve
What are glaucoma risk factors?
Risk factors for developing glaucoma include being of African-American, Asian, or Hispanic descent, being over age 60, having an eye injury, having a family member with glaucoma, or using steroids. Other systemic disease and ocular conditions
can lead to glaucoma including diabetes, retinal conditions, and ocular tumors.
How do you detect glaucoma?
Here at St. Paul Eye Clinic, our board-certified eye specialists use a thorough eye exam along with today’s most advanced diagnostic exams to pinpoint glaucoma in its earliest stages.
How do you treat glaucoma?
Treatment for glaucoma is based on each individual patients exam and test results. The severity of the condition as well as any noted changes in the exam and testing are what provides a basis for each patient's treatment. There are three main
modalities to glaucoma treatment: eyedrops therapy, laser procedures, and surgical procedures.
Early treatment often begins with either eyedrops or laser therapy. We were among the first eye surgeons in the area to offer selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), a revolutionary in-office procedure designed to treat patients with
open-angle glaucoma (OAG), the most prevalent form of glaucoma. We perform laser iridotomy for patients with narrow angles as well. We also offer all of the latest eyedrops available to patients including Vyzulta and Rhopressa.
Sometimes surgery is needed to treat glaucoma. We are currently having a renaissance in the world of glaucoma surgery. There are many new procedures available today classified as Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS). These include micro
stents, goniotomy, canaloplasty, and other devices. Frequently these procedures are done in combination with cataract surgery. Here at the St Paul Eye Clinic we also offer trabeculectomy and tube shunt surgery which are often used for patients
with advanced disease.
What types of glaucoma are there?
With all types of glaucoma, the nerve connecting the eye to the brain is damaged, usually due to high eye pressure. However, there are two types of Glaucoma, one is chronic and the other is acute. Glaucoma usually often has no symptoms other
than slow vision loss.
- Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG): primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) known as chronic glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It occurs when there is an imbalance in the production and drainage of the clear fluid (called the aqueous
humor) that fills the eye's anterior chamber, the part behind the cornea. The result is that the pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure or IOP) increases.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: Acute angle-closure glaucoma (AACG) occurs when the pressure inside your eye gets too high very quickly. It is a medical emergency because if it is not treated quickly, it can lead to permanent loss of vision.
Symptoms include eye pain with nausea and sudden visual disturbance.
Where are surgeries performed?
Our providers perform surgery at the Midwest Surgery Center located in Woodbury at 2080 Woodwinds Drive, Suite 210 or at the Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis depending on your needs.