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Saddleback Eye Education

What Is Glaucoma? Types, Risk Factors and Treatment

Glaucoma Education:
Glaucoma is a progressive eye condition that damages the optic nerve and may lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated. Glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million Americans over the age of 40. There are different types of glaucoma. The most common type of glaucoma is when the fluid the eye produces, called aqueous humor, is unable to drain normally and the intraocular pressure inside the eye increases and causes damage to the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. Sometimes, glaucoma develops due to not having an increase in intraocular pressure and there are other conditions related and responsible for causing glaucoma. With early detection and treatment, progression of glaucoma can be treated and managed to preserve the vision. Glaucoma causes symptoms when it is highly advanced. Most of the time, an eye doctor diagnoses glaucoma during a regular scheduled eye exam.

Glaucoma Risk Factors:
The most common risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Myopia or Hyperopia
  • Family History of Glaucoma
  • Age over 40
  • African, Asian, or Hispanic ancestry
  • Previous eye injury
  • Thin corneas
  • Thin Optic Nerves

Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, circulatory disorders, or other conditions that affect your entire body can also increase the risk for glaucoma.

Glaucoma Treatment:
The prescription eye drops are enough to lower the intraocular pressure and keep it stable to stop glaucoma progression. Patients with high intraocular pressures that do not respond to non-surgical modalities such as eye drops, glaucoma surgery offers optimal results. Glaucoma surgery improves the fluid drainage network within the eyes, restores a healthy eye pressure and stops the progression of glaucoma. There are several different types of glaucoma surgery.

SLT laser surgery is a pain-free low energy laser that restores healthy intraocular pressures by increasing the size of the drainage network, where the intraocular fluid drains through.

YAG PI laser treatment prevents narrow-angle glaucoma where a tiny opening is made in the peripheral iris, allowing drainage improvement and lowering intraocular pressure.

Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure to treat glaucoma. This surgery creates A new inner-eye reservoir and allows improved eye drainage.

Tube Shunt Procedures are for patients who are not candidates for trabeculectomy. In these cases, a tiny tube or valve is implanted to reroute the intraocular fluid, or the aqueous humor from the eye.

Your Saddleback Eye Medical Associates surgeon will discuss all the glaucoma surgery options with you, so you know what to expect.


For the best in glaucoma care, you can count on the experienced eye doctors and glaucoma specialist at Saddleback Eye Medical Associates. Diagnosing and treating glaucoma is very important to slowing down the progression of glaucoma and preserving your vision. Call Saddleback Eye Medical Associates for your glaucoma appointment now.