The term glaucoma suspect describes a person who does not currently have glaucoma, but one who might be at risk of developing glaucoma. The risk factors of glaucoma include:
• Elevated Eye Pressure (IntraOcular Pressure – IOP)
• Suspicious Optic Nerve Cupping
“It’s like all of the players are on the field, but the game has not started,” explained April Pevear, a Patient Care Specialist at Anne Arundel Eye Center. A glaucoma suspect has all of the signs of glaucoma without actually having definite glaucomatous optic nerve damage or a visual field defect. However, a great overlap can exist between findings in people with early glaucoma and in those who are merely glaucoma suspects. This is why regular eye exams are so important, whether or not you need glasses.
Early detection equals earlier, simpler and more effective treatment.
Glaucoma Suspect Monitoring and Treatment
Sometimes treatment is not even necessary. In many cases, regular eye exams and vigilant monitoring are the best ways to handle glaucoma suspects. However, if treatment is deemed necessary, the best way to treat a glaucoma suspect is to lower the elevated IOP. This is typically done with eye drops and should help reduce the risk of developing glaucoma. These drops work by either slowing the production of aqueous fluids in the eye or by improving the flow of fluid out of the eye through the drainage angle and into the veins.
Another excellent treatment option would be laser treatment. There are several laser options currently available to treat many of the different types of glaucoma. Laser surgery utilizes a focused, gentle beam of light to help the fluid drain from your eye and decrease IOP. This type of outpatient procedure can be done right at your doctor’s office with minimal recovery time. However, it must be noted that laser surgery WILL NOT change your vision. It WILL slow and potentially stop glaucoma progression.
Even after treatment, regular check-ups with your eye-care practitioner – ophthalmologist or optometrist – will be needed to monitor your situation and help prevent any future vision loss.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of legal blindness in the United States, behind only cataracts.
• Over 60 million people worldwide (2.2 million Americans) have glaucoma and experts estimate that nearly half of them are unaware they are currently affected by the disease.
• Up to 10 million Americans are estimated to suffer from elevated IOP, making them glaucoma suspects. And about 1% of these individuals will develop glaucomatous damage.
• Currently, between 80,000-116,000 people have been declared legally blind because of glaucoma.
If you have any questions about what you have just read or if you would like to learn more about Glaucoma Treatment in Maryland, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrist Dr. Nathan Frank, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today!
Cast your vote now for Anne Arundel Eye Center, Dr. Boles and Dr. Frank in Chesapeake Family Magazine’s Favorite Docs 2012! Voting ends on March 15th.
Dr. Boles and everyone else at the Anne Arundel Eye Center proudly support the efforts of The Polakoff Foundation and their role in the ongoing fight against glaucoma. Click here to purchase tickets online for the Polakoff Foundation’s Mardi Gras Celebration to help raise money to aid the fight against blindness.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision.
Glaucoma and Cataracts may be a natural part of aging. Losing your vision doesn’t have to be.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.