Posts for: May, 2015

By Office of Dr. Mary Szatowski
May 15, 2015
Category: Ophthalmology
Tags: Glaucoma  

Glaucoma When your physician asks if you had your annual vision exam, your answer should be a resounding "Yes!" Annual eye exams can uncover silent and undiagnosed diseases of the eye which could destroy vision.

One such condition is glaucoma, and Chicago, Illinois ophthalmologist, Dr. Mary Szatowski, can diagnose and treat this potentially sight-robbing disease.

Characteristics of Glaucoma

The most common glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma. It is marked by a build-up of pressure inside the eyeball when its natural fluid (aqueous humor) does not drain properly.

Increased intraocular pressure can happen suddenly or gradually. It damages the retina at the back of the eye and the optic nerve which sends information to the brain, resulting in permanent partial or complete blindness. Usually, the peripheral vision is damaged first.

Diagnosis of Glaucoma

There are a number of tests which your Chicago eye doctor uses to detect glaucoma. Most adults are familiar with the test which blows a puff of air onto the surface of the eye to measure IOP or pressure within the eye. Sometimes, this exam may not pick up on glaucoma. If the physician suspects it, there are other exams to pinpoint it.

In addition, some people are more prone to glaucoma than others - for example, individuals who:

  • have a family history of the condition
  • are very farsighted or nearsighted
  • are diabetic, hypertensive, have cardiovascular disease or thyroid issues
  • take prescriptions such as steroids
  • are African-American or Asian
  • are over 40

Treatment of Glaucoma

Experts at the Mayo Clinic outline several treatment options doctors use to combat glaucoma. If caught early, the disease can be well-managed and sight preserved.

Treatments include:

  1. Eye drops which decrease production of the aqueous humor, promote its drainage or even both.
  2. Oral medications such as beta blockers which decrease intraocular pressure.
  3. Surgery to help drain the eye fluid.

Typically, these surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis at the opthamologist's office or hospital. Some involve lasers. For instance, the Laser Trabeculoplasty opens a hole in the trabecular network or drainage system of the eye. While its effects are not immediate, this procedure decreases the pressure in the eye.

In addition, doctors employ lasers to treat Angle-closure glaucoma, a medical emergency. A Laser Peripheral Iridotomy relieves sudden pressure by opening a drainage hole in the iris or colored part of the eye. If an eye doctor thinks a patient is at risk of developing this dangerous condition, he or she may do the surgery prophylactically before a problem occurs.

Another surgery is the trabeculectomy. Using a scalpel, the surgeon creates an opening in the sclera and the clear cornea of the eye. Anti-inflammatories and antibiotics are used after this surgery.

Dr. Mary Szatowski

Dr. Mary Szatowski and her associate, Chen Kuo, OD, emphasize the importance of vision health. They offer a wide range of services to examine your eyes and maintain their health. Diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma is one of their priorities.

Call Dr. Mary Szatowski at her Chicago, Illinois office today for an appointment: 312-332-4296.