Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Unfortunately, most people are unaware they have this condition until it is too late. At Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, we realize there are some misconceptions about glaucoma and the damage it causes. Our goal is to educate the general public about glaucoma symptoms and treatment options so patients can preserve their vision.
Those who ignore signs of glaucoma may experience significant vision loss or even blindness. This is why it is important to schedule an examination with a board-certified ophthalmologist as soon as you notice any changes in your eyesight. If you are concerned about glaucoma, we recommend getting a consultation with Dr. Young H. Choi. Our team can help you stay proactive about your eye health in Birmingham, AL.
What causes glaucoma?
The first step toward glaucoma treatment is knowing what causes glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when there is an increase in the fluid known as aqueous humor inside your eye. If the circulation is blocked and there is no way to drain the extra fluid, the resulting buildup can harm the optic nerve. This is what results in vision loss and permanent blindness. Because the damage is often slow or does not happen until later in life, glaucoma can go unnoticed for a long period of time.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), some patients have a higher than normal risk of getting glaucoma. Although we are unsure about what causes glaucoma, we do know genetics plays a significant role. Other conditions, such as diabetes or previous eye injuries, are also factors that lead to glaucoma. Individuals at particular risk include those who are over the age of 40 and do not schedule regular eye examinations. Without the help of a professional, there is no way to prevent glaucoma from progressing to a dangerous level.
Common glaucoma symptoms
If you are at higher-than-average risk of getting glaucoma in Birmingham, AL, Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center offers examinations to recognize glaucoma before it gets too far. This is because patients with glaucoma may not notice glaucoma symptoms until the damage is permanent. If you have trouble performing simple tasks, such as driving or reading a computer screen, this could mean something is affecting your vision. There are also more urgent signs of glaucoma that should be brought to the attention of an eye doctor right away, such as:
- Blurred vision that happens suddenly
- Moderate to severe eye pain
- Headache around the eyes or the forehead
- Nausea and vomiting accompanied by eye pain
- Seeing halos or rainbow-colored circles around lights
Glaucoma treatment options
Birmingham, AL patients diagnosed with glaucoma may have questions about their treatment options. Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center offers selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) to decrease eye pressure and improve how fluid drains from the eye. This advanced laser procedure is performed on an outpatient basis on-site at our medical facility. When you meet with Dr. Choi, we can review the pros and cons of this glaucoma treatment and address any questions you may have.
To begin selective laser trabeculoplasty, Dr. Choi will use special eye drops to numb the eye and prevent it from moving during surgery. We then use a contact lens to help the laser focus on the precise target area. Patients may feel some pressure during this treatment, but it does not cause any discomfort or pain. The laser creates small changes to the drainage system of the eye so fluid can drain properly and maintain normal eye pressure. At the end of the procedure, our team can give you simple guidelines for a smooth recovery at home.
Improve your eye health
Learning about the possible signs of glaucoma is the first step toward improving your eye health. At Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center in Vestavia Hills, AL, we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to enhance their quality of life through glaucoma treatment. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Young H. Choi calls upon his advanced skills and years of experience for each patient who enters our doors. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma or have other eye concerns, we encourage you to schedule a consultation. Our goal is to provide quality care and expertise at every stage of your patient experience.