Glaucoma Treatment

Dr. Shannon Smith, our fellowship trained glaucoma specialist and surgeon, is an experienced and compassionate provider.  Dr. Smith has built her reputation on the principle of open communication and state-of-the-art care.  A great deal of time is spent with each patient to ensure that there is a total understanding of the disease, which leads to great success and compliance.

Most glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma.  The disease is a result of pressure inside the eye that is too high for the optic nerve to tolerate, resulting in damage to the nerve which then causes a loss of side or peripheral vision, followed by loss of central vision.  Unfortunately there is no pain or other symptoms until after vision loss has occurred. It is a leading cause of blindness, but if caught early it can be controlled. If you are over 40, you should have an eye exam every year or year and a half.  If you are African-American, or you have a family member with glaucoma, you at higher risk for developing glaucoma and should have your eyes examined and eye pressure checked every year. Narrow-angle glaucoma is much less common and is very different from open-angle glaucoma in that eye pressure can rise very quickly. There is usually severe eye pain or brow ache with nausea and blurred vision. If not treated promptly, this glaucoma produces blindness in the affected eye in a short period of time.

If medical therapy for glaucoma is ineffective at halting the ongoing damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision, your eye doctor may recommend glaucoma surgery. There are many different types of surgery for glaucoma. Each one of them is performed in order to lower intraocular pressure.

By lowering intraocular pressure, it is hoped that optic nerve damage and loss of vision can be halted. Often, incisional surgery is recommended after attempts with medications or laser are unsuccessful.

The goal of incisional glaucoma surgery is to create a small passage for fluid from within the eye to pass unimpeded into the outer layers of the eye. In a sense, this channel bypasses the trabecular meshwork, which is the tiny drain within the eye which is impaired in glaucoma. When successful, this lowers intraocular pressure and preserves vision.

Glaucoma is known as the “sneak thief of sight”.  In its early stages there are no symptoms and if left untreated, can lead to blindness.

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3302 N.E. Stallings Drive Nacogdoches TX 75965 936.564.3600 | 877.810.3937