Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the world. The disease is often called ‘the silent thief of vision’ because it can slowly cause permanent damage to the eye without causing any symptoms such as blurriness or pain.
The disease is caused by fluid buildup in the eye leading to high pressures that damage the optic nerve, the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. Since the disease, especially early in the course, doesn’t cause symptoms it can be easily missed. Patients with risk factors should be screened for the disease.
Because this disease often doesn’t cause symptoms, it is frequently spotted when people get routine eye exams for glasses. If an eye doctor performing an eye exam measures a high eye pressure, observes optic nerve damage, or is concerned with the anatomy of the eye drainage system, a comprehensive glaucoma evaluation is necessary. Our office has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to help diagnose this disease and to guide treatment.
There are three ways to treat glaucoma: medications, lasers, and surgery. Most types of glaucoma can be controlled with medication eye drops to help keep the eye pressure. In many cases however, additional interventions are required to control the pressure. Procedures such as laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) can treat a very aggressive form of glaucoma by opening the drainage system anatomy with a painless five second procedure.
If it is necessary to pursue surgery, Dr. Estrovich and Dr Pajka are trained in the most advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques, which have major improvements over traditional surgery by improving safety and reducing the recovery time.
Dr. Estrovich has subspecialist training in the diagnosis, management, and surgical treatment of glaucoma and enjoys providing long term care, guiding patients through the decision making process and through treatment, recovery and beyond.
Excisional Goniotomy is a recently-developed technique that is a stitchless, safe and reliable method to lower eye pressure in the eye that only takes 5 minutes to perform and leads a swift recovery. A small scoop-shaped scalpel is used to unclog the eye’s natural drainage system and reduce fluid build up.
This implant is a thin and flexible tube, thinner than spaghetti, that is inserted into the wall of the eye to drain off excess fluid and lower the pressure. This is a stitchless, fast surgery that is much safer than older glaucoma procedures and leads to faster visual recovery, less pain, and shorter downtime.
Glaucoma tube shunt surgery may be needed to lower eye pressure in patients when medications, laser, or other surgery has not worked. This procedure involves placing a small plastic tube under the surface of the eye with a reservoir creating a pocket of fluid underneath the eyelid. This is the most effective surgery to treat glaucoma, but because it requires placing a large implant in the eye, the recovery is longer, and the eye may be uncomfortable longer because of stitches.
Dr. Estrovich has extensive experience and training in the diagnosis, management, and surgical treatment of glaucoma and enjoys guiding patients from the decision of treatment options through recovery and beyond.