Patients are often nervous about a glaucoma diagnosis, but with proper management, it does not have to limit daily activities. Our doctors have a long-standing commitment to glaucoma research. They’re here to help you navigate this disease.

On This Page

The Glaucoma Treatment That’s Right for You

Even though glaucoma isn’t curable yet, it is manageable. Because the doctor team at Vance Thompson Vision is a leader in glaucoma research, their efforts rapidly advance ways to manage this disease and slow its progression.

Until a cure is found, our doctors will access the latest technology for managing this disease, and they can offer you the most innovative treatment options available to stop its progression. They will discuss your options at your initial consultation.

Glaucoma is most commonly treated with daily prescription eye drops that decrease eye pressure either by slowing the amount of fluid produced within the eye or by improving the flow through the drainage angle.

For some patients, laser technology can lower pressure and can help avoid more invasive surgery later. Laser procedures may also reduce or eliminate the need for medications or drops in certain patients.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) provides lower risk and a less invasive approach to restoring normal eye pressure. MIGS is usually, but not always, performed at the same time as cataract surgery in patients with mild to moderate glaucoma. MIGS offers:

  • Several options and benefits
  • Some of the most thoroughly studied procedures available
  • Some of the most promising outcomes for glaucoma patients

During a trabeculectomy or tube shunt procedure, your surgeon creates a passageway that drains fluid from inside your eye to behind it. Generally, these surgeries are only an option once all others have been exhausted and have failed to stop the increase in intraocular pressure.

Glaucoma & Cataracts

Our patients often ask, “Glaucoma vs cataracts: what’s the difference?” The difference between the two conditions is the part of the eye affected by each. Glaucoma is increased pressure inside the eye while a cataract is a clouding of your natural lens or the clear outer part of your eye.

In some cases, patients can combine glaucoma and cataract surgery. MIGS procedures in particular can be performed through the same incision as cataract surgery, providing an efficient way to address two problems at once.

Our Cataract Services

Glaucoma Research at Vance Thompson Vision

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and is described as a “silent-thief” because it steals your vision without symptoms.

It’s why Vance Thompson Vision is the forefront of research initiatives and technology that will halt this disease. Our doctors want to find a cure for glaucoma and get closer every day.

“When I came out of surgery, the headache was gone, and I knew the problem was better. Vance Thompson Vision makes [glaucoma management] as easy as possible.”

Rex Gullickson, glaucoma patient

What To Expect

The first step to treating glaucoma is a consultation during which extensive testing and measurements will be performed on your eyes. The doctor will also meet with you to discuss the specific type of glaucoma you have, the treatments that are available, and to help you determine the best way to manage your disease.

Because there are several variables that lead to glaucoma surgery, procedures can last from 15 minutes to two hours.

Following surgery, patients are kept comfortable for about an hour to ensure it was a success and to allow the sedative to wear off before they are released into the care of a family member or friend.

Generally, patients do not experience significant pain after their procedure; however, they should expect their eye to feel irritated and their vision to be slightly blurred immediately after surgery. This is normal and will gradually improve over the days and weeks that follow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma occurs when pressure inside the eye causes damage to the optic nerve, resulting in loss of peripheral vision, which can progress to central vision and lead to blindness.

Is glaucoma treatable or curable?

At this time, glaucoma is not curable and damage to your optic nerve is permanent. Glaucoma is, however, treatable. Treatment requires management of intraocular pressure to prevent further damage.

How do I know if I've got glaucoma?

Annual eye exams are key to knowing if you have glaucoma. That puff of air that everyone dreads? It measures your intraocular pressure and is vital to detecting the high pressure characteristic of glaucoma.

How do I prevent glaucoma?

Ophthalmologists are still researching the cause of glaucoma; however, it is clear that regular annual eye exams can detect it early and prevent further damage.

Is glaucoma hereditary?

Glaucoma does have a genetic component so having a family member with this disease is a risk factor.

What is considered dangerously high eye pressure?

“Normal" eye pressure will vary from one person to the next, but an eye pressure above 21mmHg may be reason for further testing. Consult with your optometrist if you have any concerns.

Can glaucoma patients live a normal life?

Although patients can be nervous about a glaucoma diagnosis, it is important to keep a positive attitude. Glaucoma does not have to limit your lifestyle, and for the most part, you should be able to continue your regular habits and activities.

Can I have low eye pressure and still have glaucoma?

Glaucoma can still be present with low eye pressure.

Still have questions?

Glaucoma questions? Call us! Our representatives can answer many common questions, and when they can’t, they’ll put you in touch with a team member who can. If you’re ready, they can also schedule your glaucoma consultation.

Contact Us