Glaucoma is an eye disease that is characterized by damage to the optic nerve, causing an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP). It is one of the leading causes of blindness and is most common in older patients, although it can develop in individuals of any age, including children. At The Eye Clinic of North Dakota, our skilled ophthalmologists provide a variety of leading-edge laser surgery options to treat both open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma.
There are three common types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, closed-angle glaucoma, and normal tension glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma , which affects more than thirty million people in America, is the most common type. Individuals with open-angle glaucoma experience very slow draining of natural eye fluids between the cornea and iris. Open-angle glaucoma usually affects both eyes.
Closed-angle glaucoma can develop if the opening between the cornea and iris is too small, which can make it very difficult for fluid drainage to take place properly.
Normal tension glaucoma is characterized by damage to the optic nerve. However, individuals with normal tension glaucoma experience a normal IOP, in contrast to the elevated levels associated with open- and closed-angle glaucoma.
Glaucoma is primarily treated with oral medications and topical eyedrops, which are intended to reduce the pressure of the eye. If these medications fail to work, several laser-assisted surgical treatments can slow down or even halt its spread. These treatments include trabeculoplasty, iridotomy, and cyclophotocoagulation.
Trabeculoplasty is a great treatment alternative for patients with open-angle glaucoma. The procedure involves using a laser to treat tissue around the eye, which improves the eye's drainage system. This allows fluid to flow easier, decreasing IOP by 60 to 70 percent.
Iridotomy is a procedure intended for patients with closed-angle glaucoma. During iridotomy, a laser creates a small hole in the iris to clear the blockage in the fluid channel so fluid can drain normally.
Cyclophotocoagulation is used when both medical and surgical treatments have failed. Similar to trabeculoplasty, cyclophotocoagulation involves the destruction removal of fluid producing tissue inside the eye to decrease fluid production in the eye.
Trabeculectomy, or conventional glaucoma surgery, is an option if other treatment methods have failed. The procedure involves removing a small amount of eye tissue to create a new drainage pathway for improved flow.
Our ophthalmologists can determine which method of treatment is most suited for your specific needs during your initial consultation.
If you would like to learn more about the glaucoma treatments we offer, or would like to schedule a consultation with our experienced surgeons, please contact our practice today. We offer a variety of convenient financing options to help make treatment more affordable.
Monte J. Leidenix, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Tom S. Hansted, O.D.
Provides vision correction examinations for patients who are in need of contact lenses, glasses, and other special vision devices. He also has experience in treating a full range of eye conditions and diseases.
Steven J. Towle, O.D.
An outstanding optometrist who provides exceptional pre- and post-operative care to all of our vision correction patients. He is also experienced in diagnosing a variety of eye diseases and conditions.