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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause permanent and irreversible vision loss if left untreated. At Newton Wellesley Eye Associates, we offer a range of advanced treatments and personalized care to help manage and treat glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Chart Showing How Adnormal Pressure in the Eye Affects the Optic Nerve

Glaucoma is an eye condition that can affect your vision and, if left untreated, lead to permanent vision loss. It occurs when there is damage to the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain. The most common cause of this damage is high pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure. Think of your eye as a small balloon filled with fluid. In a healthy eye, the fluid flows in and out, maintaining normal pressure. However, with glaucoma, something disrupts this balance, causing the pressure to build up. 

Over time, the increased pressure damages the optic nerve fibers, leading to vision problems. Unfortunately, glaucoma usually develops slowly and painlessly, often without noticeable symptoms until it’s in its advanced stages. That’s why regular eye exams are crucial, especially if you’re over forty or have a family history of glaucoma. Early detection and treatment can help slow down or prevent further vision loss.

What Are The Most Common Symptoms of Glaucoma?

In the early stages, glaucoma often doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms, which is why it’s often called the “silent thief of sight.” However, as the condition progresses, certain signs may start to appear. 

Here are some of the most common symptoms to watch out for:

Glaucoma typically affects peripheral vision first, causing a gradual loss, which can make it difficult to see objects or people to the sides while looking straight ahead. Eventually, glaucoma can affect your central vision as well.

You may experience blurred or hazy vision, especially in the later stages of glaucoma. This can make it challenging to read, drive, or recognize faces.

Glaucoma can cause a halo effect around lights, making them appear blurry or surrounded by a colorful ring.

In some cases, glaucoma can cause eye pain, headaches, or general discomfort.

It’s important to remember that these symptoms can vary from person to person, and some individuals may not experience any noticeable signs until glaucoma has progressed significantly. That’s why regular eye exams are crucial for early detection and treatment of glaucoma.

What Types of Glaucoma Treatments Are Available?

There are several treatment options available for glaucoma, and the choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the specific needs of the patient. Here are some commonly used treatments at Newton Wellesley Eye Associates:

Laser therapy is a non-invasive approach used to lower eye pressure. Two common types of laser procedures for glaucoma are Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) and Laser Peripheral iridotomy.

SLT helps improve the drainage of fluid from the eye, while iridotomy creates a tiny hole in the iris to enhance fluid flow.

This procedure involves creating a new drainage channel in the eye to reduce intraocular pressure. It allows excess fluid to drain out, lowering the pressure on the optic nerve.

Some severe cases of glaucoma may require the implantation of a small device called a glaucoma drainage valve or shunt. This valve helps regulate the flow of fluid out of the eye, reducing pressure.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgeries, also known as MIGS, are a group of newer surgical techniques that are less invasive compared to traditional glaucoma surgery. These include microstents and trabecular bypass devices that improve fluid drainage and reduce intraocular pressure.

It’s important to note that the choice of treatment depends on various factors and should be determined by your eye doctor at Newton Wellesley Eye Associates. 

They will evaluate the specific condition and recommend the most suitable treatment option for the individual patient. Regular monitoring and follow-up visits are also essential to ensure the effectiveness of the chosen treatment and maintain good eye health.

Glaucoma Doctors

our locations

Newton Office

2000 Washington Street
Green Building Suite 462
Newton, MA 02462

Wellesley Office

65 Walnut Street
Suite 301
Wellesley, MA 02481

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(617) 964-1050
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(617) 964-6449
Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8am-6pm
Phones are open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm

Optical Shop (Newton office)
Monday - Friday: 8am-6pm
Closed from 12:30pm -1:15pm