Dedicated Glaucoma Care in El Paso, TX
If you've had a parent or relative affected by glaucoma, you may be wondering if the same could happen to you. At the vision practice of Daniel G. Blumenfeld, M.D., you'll find a compassionate team that's committed to helping you protect against the effects of glaucoma. We combine innovative techniques and technology with proven treatments to deliver the highest level of care.
We're proud to provide answers and help through quick diagnosis and decisive treatments. We take the time to explain treatments in detail, so you'll always know what your options are. If you're seeking glaucoma treatment in El Paso, contact Dr. Daniel G. Blumenfeld and schedule your exam today.
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What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease caused by damage to the optic nerve. In most cases, it results from building pressure in the eye, which harms the optic nerve and results in partial or total vision loss. The body must maintain a delicate balance of intraocular pressure, naturally releasing and replacing fluid within the eye as needed. When fluid cannot escape, the pressure builds, and the stress on the nerve leads to irreparable damage.
There are various types of glaucoma, classified by the cause of the increased eye pressure. The two most common types are chronic open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. Dr. Blumenfeld can perform exams to determine which type of glaucoma may be affecting you.
Chronic Open-Angle Glaucoma: This type (COAG) accounts for 90% of all glaucoma cases. In this situation, the drainage angle formed by the cornea and iris is unobstructed. The problem comes from an area of tissue around the cornea known as the trabecular meshwork. With COAG, the meshwork is partially blocked and prevents adequate draining, which causes the buildup in pressure.
Closed-Angle Glaucoma: The next most common cause of glaucoma occurs when the drainage angle is blocked by the iris bulging forward. If the drainage angle is naturally narrow, the risk for glaucoma is even higher, as even slight blockage can cause pressure buildup. This type can occur gradually or suddenly, and thus requires careful monitoring of the eye to prevent it.
There are other types of glaucoma, including some that can affect infants. In rare cases, optic nerve damage can occur without any pressure buildup in the eye, and the source may not always be clear. However, in most cases, we can identify the cause and address it when caught in time.
Am I At Risk of Glaucoma?
There is no definitive way to know who will develop glaucoma or when. The disease itself is painless, and it may be difficult to notice as the symptoms progress subtly over time. Your risk of glaucoma can increase with age, though it is not considered typical of aging. Certain diseases such as diabetes and previous trauma or eye surgery could also present a higher risk.
There can be a hereditary link, which means you may be at a higher risk of glaucoma if a close family member has the condition as well. Regardless, it is still vital to have regular exams to help catch any signs of glaucoma as early in the process as possible.
Glaucoma Diagnosis & Treatment in El Paso
What makes glaucoma such a risk is that any damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed, making any loss of vision permanent. This is why it's essential to be proactive about caring for your eyes with yearly eye exams and contacting Dr. Blumenfeld immediately if you notice any changes to your eyesight.
There are several tests that can identify whether glaucoma is present, what type of glaucoma it is, and how much the disease has progressed. You may receive one or more of these tests:
- Eye Pressure Check: As elevated pressure is the usual cause of glaucoma, this test is standard in diagnosing the condition. Also called tonometry, the test involves using a tiny instrument that touches the surface of the eye to measure the internal pressure. Your eye is numbed with eye drops beforehand to make the test a quick and painless process.
- Visual Field Test: The doctor will test your vision to determine whether there has been any vision loss and how severe it might be. This will help him determine how far the condition has progressed and allow us to tailor your treatment accordingly.
- Angle Test: Officially called gonioscopy, this test tells the doctor if the glaucoma is an open-angle or closed-angle condition. Using a specially designed contact lens, the doctor can observe whether the iris or scar tissue has blocked the drainage angle in the eye.
- Corneal Thickness Test: This test is actually used to verify the data of other tests. A cornea that is abnormally thick or thin can make it difficult to accurately gauge eye pressure. Confirming the thickness helps the doctor to compensate and more effectively diagnose glaucoma if present.
- Dilated Eye Exam: Dilating your pupils allows the doctor to see your optic nerve more clearly and assess whether there has been any damage.
- Glaucoma Imaging Test: This test allows the doctor to obtain images of your optic nerve to gather more information about your situation. The doctor uses digital technology to take photos after dilating your eye with eye drops.
Once glaucoma has been confirmed, Dr. Blumenfeld will discuss your treatment options. Glaucoma is generally treated with daily eye drops that will help to alleviate pressure within your eye. The type of eye drop is chosen based on which form of glaucoma you have. Eye surgery may also be considered if your situation has advanced and cannot effectively be managed by eye drops.
Quality Treatment for Glaucoma in El Paso
When you visit Daniel G. Blumenfeld, M.D., you can count on him to deliver the precise, proactive, and compassionate care you need. Our team is committed to helping you protect your eyes from glaucoma and any other vision concerns you may have. Schedule your visit to our El Paso vision center for glaucoma diagnosis and treatment today!
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