Koch Eye Associates

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Glaucoma Center
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Glaucoma Specialists Warwick, Rhode Island

WHAT IS GLAUCOMA?

GlaucomaGlaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, is an eye disease characterized by increased fluid pressure within the eye which results in damage to the optic nerve of the eye and ultimately loss of vision. Since the most common forms of glaucoma have no symptoms, the disease typically goes unrecognized and undiagnosed until advanced stages. Once the damage is done, it is permanent and therefore, it is important glaucoma be diagnosed as early as possible.

TYPES OF GLAUCOMA

Risk factors include age, ethnic background, and medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, family history, complicated eye history, and long-term steroid use. The common denominator for vision loss is increased pressure within the eye; therefore the treatment ultimately involves lowering the pressure. Some of the different types of glaucoma include:

Primary Open-angle Glaucoma

In this form of glaucoma, while the angle where the aqueous humour exits is open, the trabecular meshwork drainage system becomes partially, and progressively, blocked. Thus aqueous fluid builds up over time and causes elevated pressure which can damage the optic nerve. Unfortunately since the eye’s pain-sensors adapt to the slow buildup of pressure, there is no associated pain, and the condition often goes unrecognized.

Angle-closure Glaucoma

This form involves a closed angle where no aqueous humour can drain. This can happen over a long time or suddenly. In the acute stage, the eye pressure becomes extraordinarily high, and patients may experience a red eye with painful headaches, blurry vision, halos and nausea.

Low-tension (or Normal-tension) Glaucoma

Low-tension glaucoma occurs when there is optic nerve damage in the face of “normal” eye pressures, but poor blood supply and other factors make the optic nerve susceptible to damage.

Developmental Glaucoma

At birth and throughout childhood, children can be affected by glaucoma. Children may have primary glaucoma caused by their anatomy, or secondary glaucoma caused by other conditions.

Pigmentary Glaucoma

In this type of glaucoma, the pigment which gives the iris its color, can become dislodged, be carried by the aqueous humour to the front of the eye, and clog the trabecular meshwork drains. This physical clogging of the drains results in increased pressure.

THE KOCH EYE ASSOCIATES GLAUCOMA TEAM

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The Greater New Bedford Surgical and Laser Center

The Greater New Bedford Surgical and Laser Center was opened in 1986 with the express purpose of rendering high quality, state of the art eye surgery to patients of all ages, especially those with cataracts, glaucoma, or cornea disease. The Center is designed specifically with the needs of the patient in mind. The entire process from initial examination to final outcome is conducted in a pleasant comfortable environment.

After a patient decides to have surgery, he or she is assigned his or her own Surgical Counselor who is available to answer questions and provide assistance. These individuals are specially trained to assist the patient throughout the entire surgical experience, including follow up care for as long as necessary. Patients are encouraged to contact their counselor for any questions, no matter how simple or complex.