Glaucoma is an eye disease associated with increased pressure in the eyeball that can cause gradual loss of sight. The pressure on the eyeball is caused by a backup of fluid which can damage the optic nerve over time. This is the second leading cause of blindness in America. Detecting the disease in its early stages is crucial to stopping it before major damage occurs. The only way to detect glaucoma is to have a yearly comprehensive eye exam on a regular basis. If you have been diagnosed with this disease by your eye doctor of family doctor, they may refer you to a glaucoma specialist for further tests and treatment.
Becoming a glaucoma specialist usually requires an extra year two of training after residency as an ophthalmologist. There are many ophthalmologists who specialize in glaucoma either because of personal interest or because they have a lot of patients with glaucoma. A glaucoma specialist sees patients that are at different stages of the disease. They see people who come in for consultations, those who are going through treatments and those that have already had surgery and are in need of post-op care. It is important to work with the patients to determine their specific needs and make them feel comfortable and well cared for. The first step in treating glaucoma including is with eye drops and or prescription pills. If the condition worsens, laser surgery or traditional surgical procedures may be required to prevent vision loss.
Successful glaucoma specialists are constantly researching and keeping up with the latest information and technology related to glaucoma treatment. There are new studies completed and published in various medical reports that influence the latest procedures for glaucoma care.
Doctors also share information by consulting with each other on difficult or challenging cases.
Choosing a glaucoma specialist is a lot like choosing another other doctor; you have to do your research. The internet can provide a lot of information as current and present patients like to share their experiences. Be mindful of the number of treatments a doctor has completed since the more procedures a surgeon perform, the more skilled he will become in the treatment. Insurance companies may be able to provide information on the number of procedures a doctor has completed. Various doctors may recommend different medications or therapies, so discuss your options with each person and determine which methods are most comfortable for you.