Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. It occurs when the pressure inside the eye rises, damaging the optic nerve and causing vision loss. The condition often develops over many years without causing pain or other noticeable symptoms – so you may not experience vision loss until the disease has progressed. Symptoms that you could be developing glaucoma include blurred vision, loss of peripheral vision, halo effects around lights, and painful or reddened eyes. People at high risk include those who are over the age of 40, diabetic, near-sighted, African-American, or who have a family history of glaucoma.
To detect glaucoma, Dr. Barowsky and his staff use state-of-the-art technology to measure your peripheral vision and eye pressure. In addition, Scanning Laser Glaucoma Tomography (SLGT) allows Dr. Barowsky to analyze detailed information about your optic nerve to detect early changes from glaucoma and provide custom treatment options for each glaucoma patient. Regular follow-up eye exams help to monitor any changes in your eye health and to determine whether your glaucoma is being controlled properly. Once diagnosed, glaucoma can be controlled with treatments to lower pressure in the eye including non-surgical methods such as prescription eye drops and medications. Depending on the severity of the glaucoma, laser surgery or more traditional surgical methods are used to treat your condition.
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear crystalline lens of the eye. There is no pain associated with the condition but there are other symptoms, including the following:
- Blurred/hazy vision making reading more difficult
- Sensitivity to bright lights causing glare
- A feeling of a “film” over the eye(s)
- Double vision with one eye closed
Risk factors for developing cataracts include age, eye injury or disease, diabetes and other chronic medical problems, a family history of cataracts, smoking or use of certain medications. For patients who have vision problems related to cataract development, surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens or implant may be recommended. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the USA and is done in the outpatient department of your local hospital or surgery center.
During phaco cataract surgery, a small ultrasonic probe is inserted into the eye which breaks up, or emulsifies, the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and gently vacuums, or aspirates, those pieces out of the eye. Phaco surgery requires a very small incision of only 1/8 inch or less. To make your procedure as painless as possible, Dr. Barowsky uses topical anesthesia to avoid the need for injections of medicine around the eye with a hypodermic needle. With the recent advance of foldable IOLs, artificial lenses can be implanted through the same small incision that is created in the phaco procedure. These IOLs are made of a flexible material, allowing them to be folded for implantation. Once inside the eye, the lens unfolds and returns to its original shape.
Dr. Barowsky performs his cataract surgery locally so that you and your family do not have to drive long distances for surgery and can be back to the comfort of your home around lunchtime.