Glaucoma is a condition in which eye pressure becomes so high that it damages the optic nerve. The reason that eye pressure is high in many glaucoma patients is that the drainage system in the eye is not working properly. The fluid in the eye, called aqueous humor, does not flow out of the eye as quickly as it should. The drainage system lies in a part of the eye called the angle, which is between the outer layer and the iris of the eye. This angle can be open or closed.
Glaucoma is first treated with eye drop medications that lower the eye pressure. If the pressure does not fall to a low enough level with eye drops, then surgery may be necessary. There are several types of glaucoma surgery available including: filtering trabeculoplasty, laser trabeculectomy, valve shunts, and the newest glaucoma surgical technique, canaloplasty.
There are several specialized testing that we use to detect and follow patients who have glaucoma or are "glaucoma suspects." These tests include:
- Tonometry: Measurement of the pressure of the eye.
- Automated Visual Field: Computerized measurement of your peripheral vision.
- Pachymetry: Measures the thickness of your cornea.
- Gonioscopy: Description and measurement of the drainage system of the eye.
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): Measures the nerve fiber layer of the optic nerve.