Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness, but with regular eye exams, you could avoid the devastating consequences of having glaucoma. Board-certified ophthalmologist Michael L. Levine, MD, FACS, can identify the earliest stages of glaucoma and provide effective treatments to save your sight. To find out more about glaucoma treatments and arrange your eye exam, call Dr. Levine’s office in Boynton Beach, Florida, or book an appointment online.
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that develops when the optic nerve is damaged. Your optic nerve sends messages to your brain about what you’re seeing. Your brain then processes the optic nerve’s messages to create the images you perceive. Glaucoma is often inherited and tends to show up later in life.
Glaucoma most often results from an imbalance between fluid production and drainage inside your eye, which causes the pressure in the inner eye to increase. The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure (IOP), is what damages the optic nerve.
Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to total, permanent blindness within a few years, and it’s one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.
Dr. Levine screens his patients for glaucoma during a comprehensive eye examination. Although there’s no cure for glaucoma, early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent loss of vision.
There are two main types of glaucoma:
Also referred to as wide-angle glaucoma, open-angle is the most common type of glaucoma. The structures of your eye appear healthy if you have this type of glaucoma, but fluid in the eye doesn’t flow properly through the trabecular meshwork, which is the eye's filter.
Also known as narrow-angle glaucoma, this is less common than open-angle glaucoma. It can lead to a sudden pressure buildup in your eye. Poor drainage may occur because the angle between the iris and the cornea is too narrow. Or, if your pupil opens too wide, it can narrow the angle and block the flow of fluid through that channel.
Most people experience few if any, symptoms when they have glaucoma, which is why regular eye exams at the practice of Michael L. Levine, M.D., F.A.C.S. are so important.
The first symptom of glaucoma is often the loss of peripheral vision, which can go unnoticed until late in the disease. Occasionally, IOP can rise to severe levels, causing symptoms such as:
You should contact the practice of Michael L. Levine, M.D., F.A.C.S. immediately if you have a combination of any of these symptoms.
Eye drops work well for many patients, while others may require surgery to relieve the pressure. Dr. Levine can perform laser surgery to treat glaucoma, or if laser surgery and eye drops aren’t enough, you might need to undergo glaucoma surgery.
The most common glaucoma surgery Dr. Levine carries out is minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). MIGS procedures are performed at the same time as cataract surgery to lower the patient's eye pressure.
Dr. Levine can discuss the options with you if you need to undergo glaucoma surgery.
To arrange your eye exam and prevent glaucoma from costing you your sight, call Michael L. Levine, M.D., F.A.C.S. today or book an appointment online.