Glaucoma Overview – Wills Eye Hospital


Hi I am dr. Daniel Lee of the Wills
glaucoma service glaucoma is a disease in which progressive damage to the optic
nerve may lead to loss of vision. There are many types of glaucoma but they all
involve the potential for vision loss through optic nerve damage, and most
involve elevated eye pressure. Although we cannot yet restore vision loss to
glaucoma, prompt diagnosis and treatment preserves vision for most people.
Therefore it’s critical to understand who is at risk, how glaucoma is diagnosed and
the treatments available. I’m Dr. Aki Shukla from the Wills
glaucoma service. Glaucoma affects nearly 4% of the world’s adult population.
Roughly half of those with glaucoma are unaware they have this condition.
Several large population-based studies have identified glaucoma risk factors
which include intraocular pressure race, family history, and older age. Long term
use of steroids, eye trauma, and eye inflammation are some of the other
reasons that secondary forms of glaucoma may developed. At Wills Eye Hospital, we
take into account each patient’s history, eye examination, and advanced diagnostic
testing to set a target pressure that is personalized for each individual’s optic
nerves. I’m Dr. Reza Razeghinejad from the
Wills Eye Glaucoma service. In each Glaucoma clinic visit, the three elements we
evaluate include eye pressure, the drainage system and the optic nerve.
Eye pressure is unique to each person, some people have damage at pressures in
the so called “normal” range. Surveying the drainage system, or angle, of the eye,
allows us to differentiate between the two major types of glaucoma closed and
open angle. The optic nerve evaluation consists of examination for color, shape,
and changes over time. Serially testing optic nerve function with visual fields
and a structure with a computerized picture or OCT allows us to closely
track changes longitudinally. Hi I’m Dr. Kolomeyer from the Wills glaucoma
service. The treatments we have for glaucoma are
centered around lowering the eye pressure, as is the only intervention that has
been found to prevent glaucoma from getting worse or from developing in the
first place. We can lower eye pressure by using medications, using eye drops, laser
procedures, or by performing surgery. Here at Wills, we have doctors who are trained
in the whole spectrum of glaucoma surgeries and we continue to be involved
in cutting-edge research on new medications, laser treatments, and the
latest surgeries. Unfortunately we do not have a cure for glaucoma, and therefore
we do not have a way to reverse any permanent vision loss from glaucoma at
this time. We are researching how to reverse vision damage, and we hope we
will have something to offer in the future since. Since vision loss cannot be
reversed, prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Fortunately most people,
caught early will have good vision their entire life with careful monitoring and
treatment. For many people, that treatment may be as simple as an eye drop a day or
a laser treatment in the office. At Wills Eye Hospital, we are fortunate to have
experienced clinicians conducting cutting-edge research on the latest
techniques to diagnose and treat glaucoma. We are committed to working
with patients to achieve the best possible outcomes for their unique
situations and needs.

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