Wiles Eye Center is well-known as a leader in modern treatment strategies for glaucoma. Our eye care professionals’ successes attract numerous patients from around the Midwest who seek modern glaucoma treatment. Combining advanced techniques with state-of-the-art technologies, Wiles Eye Center’s experienced team sets the standard in superior eye care for our glaucoma patients.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, a bundle of nerve fibers that carries information about the images we see from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma damages these nerve fibers, which can lead to peripheral vision loss first and eventually blindness in uncontrolled cases. Pressure builds up when the aqueous humor, a clear liquid produced inside the eye, cannot drain properly. This increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) can damage the optic nerve. Reducing IOP to the target level is the key element in glaucoma treatment. Each patient’s target IOP is the unique level at which optic nerve damage is not likely to occur.
With no cure for glaucoma, regular eye exams are important as early detection is necessary to slow the progression of the disease. If not detected early enough and left untreated, glaucoma can cause severe vision loss and ultimately blindness.
The Types of Glaucoma
Although many kinds of glaucoma exist, there are two primary forms of this disease:
- Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG)
- Angle Closure Glaucoma
POAG is the most common form of glaucoma. In POAG, slowly rising IOP can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. Most people who develop POAG notice no symptoms until their vision is impaired. Damage to the optic nerve is irreversible, so regular examination and testing is important.
Angle closure glaucoma, on the other hand, is associated with a physically obstructed anterior chamber angle, the drainage meshwork of the eye. This obstruction may be partial or complete. Partial obstruction usually has no symptoms; however, acute angle closure glaucoma, or complete obstruction, may develop quickly and demand urgent medical attention, as permanent vision loss can occur within hours. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, haloes and eye pain. Prompt treatment is needed to reduce the elevated pressure.
Wiles Eye Center’s Approach to Treating Glaucoma
Regular eye exams are important to detect glaucoma. Although most glaucoma cases arise in patients over the age of 60, a significant number of people are affected at earlier stages. Known as “the silent thief of sight,” glaucoma’s first symptom can be the irreversible loss of vision. The team at Wiles Eye Center uses sophisticated technology to identify glaucoma at its earliest stages. Annual visits are recommended for patients 60 years old and over. Regular exams are encouraged for younger patients found to be at higher risk based on their family history or examination findings.
Treatments offered to our St. Joseph and Kansas City glaucoma patients include eye drops, virtually painless laser procedures, such as Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), and more advanced techniques to improve pressure in the eye. In many cases, we are able to control glaucoma for patients without the need to use expensive eye drop medications on a daily basis.
Wiles Eye Center is among a select group of eye care centers providing the latest techniques in glaucoma management, including the revolutionary “Trabectome” procedure. In fact, Wiles Eye Center’s founder Dr. Stephen Wiles is a certified Trabectome trainer. In this procedure, glaucoma-affected tissue is removed in a matter of minutes to allow better pressure control and thus preservation of sight.
Dr. Wiles also utilizes a revolutionary implant to improve pressure control in glaucoma patients. iStent is the smallest known implantable device for the human body. Wiles Eye Center is proud to be one of the only eye care providers in the area to provide this revolutionary procedure.
The team at Wiles Eye Center is committed to preserving vision of all of our glaucoma patients. Contact Wiles Eye Center today to speak with an eye care professional and schedule your appointment.