Besides cataract and loss of near vision, the most common eye problems people develop with age is glaucoma. Glaucoma is typically silent at first (no obvious symptoms), and it tends to affect the side vision. It is very important to get an eye exam to detect the disease as early as possible.
Did you know it is possible that even toward the "end-stage" of glaucoma that a person’s vision can be 20/20 on the eye chart? It’s true, but 20/20 vision in this scenario is only seen through what appears like looking through a paper towel roll, where the entire side vision is missing, 360 degrees, all the way around.
Glaucoma typically develops very slowly over the years and tends to creep in little-by-little, year-by-year. It results from damage to the optic nerve (the cable that connects the eye to the vision area of our brains), and unfortunately, once the nerve is damaged, there is no way to repair or replace it. Therefore the key is prevention, typically via laser, microsurgical, or daily eye drop treatment.
A revolutionary surgical treatment for glaucoma is now available for patients who find daily eye drop treatment inconvenient. The iStent was recently approved by the FDA for treatment of mild and moderate glaucoma, and in clinical trials was found to be an effective treatment that resulted in significantly less need for use of daily eye drops to treat glaucoma. Similar to cardiac stents used in patients with heart problems, the iStent opens pressure drainage channels in the eye, permanently treating glaucoma. The iStent is the smallest implantable device ever approved by the FDA for implantation anywhere in the human body.
No. Glaucoma is typically not painful, except for in severe or advanced cases.
Having an eye exam early in the disease process and getting proper treatment is the best way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma. In this regard, glaucoma is similar to high blood pressure: when treated, complications can often be prevented.
Yes, one of the most important risk factors for glaucoma is having a family member with the disease.
The front part of our eyes is bathed in a clear fluid called aqueous humor. This fluid is constantly being produced and recycled providing nutrition to microscopic parts or our eye's anatomy, and there is an intricate balance of fluid production and drainage, which defines our intraocular pressure. It's easy to think about if you compare the front part of your eye to a kitchen sink. If the faucet is on too high, or the drain is not draining properly, more water is collected and stored. In the case of the eye, this causes pressure to elevate. High eye pressure is typically caused by too much aqueous humor production, or more commonly, a problem with the eye's drain.
No. Cannabis does not cause glaucoma.
Smoking marijuana does lower eye pressure. However, the effect only lasts about 3-4 hours. In order to lower eye pressure around the clock, it would have to be smoked 6-8 times a day. Considering other side effects: probably not the best idea.
Several treatment options are now available to permanently treat the disease. During and after treatment, glaucoma requires permanent monitoring and surveillance because, unlike cataracts, there is no cure at this time.
If you or a family member has glaucoma. Please contact us today for a consultation to discuss whether iStent or other treatments for glaucoma is an option for you. You may fill out our web form, or simply call 210-615-9358. We have people standing by to help answer your questions and schedule a consultation with the doctor.
9725 Datapoint Dr
San Antonio, TX 78229
Phone: (210) 615-9358
Fax: (210) 249-0209
Office Hours: 8:00am – 5:30pm by appointment