Glaucoma

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There are many different types of glaucoma, but all are related to pressure in the eye, which leads to optic nerve damage. As the intraocular pressure increases, the patient may begin experiencing peripheral area blind spots and other vision symptoms. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States with more than four million Americans affected.
Common types of Glaucoma include:

  • Open angle glaucoma, which happens when the eye’s drainage system is open, but fluid does not drain adequately for reasons that are unknown.
  • Closed angle glaucoma (acute), which is defined as the acute closure of the eye’s peripheral drainage system that results in a sudden increase in the intraocular pressure.
  • Closed angle glaucoma (chronic), which is caused when the iris over time begins to obstruct the drainage system of the eye.
  • Pseudoexfoliation glaucoma, which is caused when fibrillary material is deposited in the eye, impeding fluid from draining.
  • Pigmentary glaucoma, which is caused when pigment is dislodged from the iris of the eye and obstructs fluid from draining.
  • Angle recession glaucoma is caused when trauma affects the structure of the drainage system and causes elevated intraocular pressure.
  • Neovascular glaucoma, which is caused when abnormal blood vessels expand and grow on the iris of the eye, blocking the eye’s drainage channels and structures.
  • Congenital glaucoma, which is the abnormal formation of the eye’s drainage channels during gestation.

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In most glaucoma cases, patients have no symptoms in the early stages. Once the patient experiences decreased vision, they are already in the later stages of glaucoma. This is why thorough eye exams are essential to detect this condition.

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In all cases of adult glaucoma, any vision loss from glaucoma is permanent. This irreversible loss of vision is preventable in the vast majority of cases if the diagnosis is made early. Early detection is the key to prevent vision loss from glaucoma and is possible only with regular examinations by an ophthalmologist.

Symptoms
Patients with acute forms of glaucoma may have more severe symptoms due to the quick increases in ocular pressure. These symptoms may include blurry vision, especially at night, halos, starbursts or rainbows around lights, as well as severe eye pain, or headaches and nausea.

Treatments
Glaucoma treatment starts with efforts to decrease intraocular pressure in the eye to prevent optic nerve damage. Regimens differ depending on the type of glaucoma. Often an ophthalmologist will begin with prescribed medications and eye drops to reduce pressure by increasing the outflow of fluid from the eye or decreasing the production of fluid in the eyes. Laser treatments are sometime recommended to increase the opening or open the drainage angle of the eye to reduce eye pressure. New drainage channels can be created surgically, but this is only done when medications are not effective.

If surgical intervention becomes necessary, there are many different procedures that can be performed ranging from standard procedures that have been performed for decades, to new, cutting edge procedures that are newly FDA approved, to investigational procedures that may become the next generation of standard interventions.

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Procedures
The glaucoma surgeons at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute have been instrumental in the development and optimization of numerous surgical innovations that have become the new standard for glaucoma surgery worldwide.

Trabeculectomy
This is the standard procedure for glaucoma and has been performed for over forty years. This procedure involves surgically creating an alternate drainage pathway for the eye, through the sclera (the white part of the eye). Recent modifications of this procedure include implantation of a miniature glaucoma device, (The Ex-PRESS®) under the sclera to better control fluid flow. The surgeons at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute were the first in Orange County to perform this procedure and are considered national experts on this technology. They are routinely called upon to train other surgeons at major national and international meetings.

Trabectome®
This procedure was developed at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute by Dr.George Baerveldt and his colleagues. This is a minimally invasive approach to restore the eye’s own natural drainage system and was FDA approved in 2006. Since then, over 5,000 patients have undergone the procedure in the US, and it is now widely adopted around the world. The surgeons at the Gavin Herbert EyeI Institute are considered not only the developers of the technology, but the foremost authorities in managing complex cases, developing modifications to improve outcomes, and serve as the instructors for all new surgeons performing the procedure. They have published dozens of articles describing the procedure and expected outcomes and have enriched the literature for all glaucoma surgeons worldwide.

Aqueous shunt devices
These are silicone tubes implanted into the eye to facilitate drainage of the aqueous humor. They are typically used in refractory cases, and can be used in patients who have had multiple prior surgical procedures. There are several different models of these shunts, one of the most frequently used being the Baerveldt Shunt ®. This shunt was developed by Dr Baerveldt and continues to be the preferred implant among many glaucoma surgeons. The surgeons at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute are widely considered to be the world’s experts in tube shunt technology. Aside from writing the major book chapters on this technique, our surgeons have written the landmark articles on the procedure and are frequent resources for physicians referring complicated cases from around the country.

Investigational procedures
Given the surgical expertise of our surgeons, they are frequently called upon to participate in national clinical trials to evaluate the benefit of newer, cutting edge technologies. They are actively involved in numerous clinical trials currently underway to advance our surgical knowledge for the next generation of surgeons and patients from around the globe.

For ophthalmology appointments, please call:

UC Irvine Medical Center
714-456-7183

Gavin Herbert Eye Institute Building
949-824-2020

Laser Refractive Surgery
949-824-9970

 

CATARACT SURGERY
Anand Bhatt, M.D.
Marjan Farid, M.D.
Sumit (Sam) Garg, M.D.
Sanjay Kedhar, M.D.
Sameh Mosaed, M.D.
Matthew Wade, M.D.

COMPREHENSIVE
Kavita K. Rao, M.D.

CORNEA SURGERY
Marjan Farid, M.D.
Sumit (Sam) Garg, M.D.
Sanjay Kedhar
Matthew Wade, M.D.

GLAUCOMA
Anand Bhatt, M.D.
Sameh Mosaed, M.D.

LASIK REFRACTIVE SURGERY
Marjan Farid, M.D.
Sumit (Sam) Garg, M.D.
Robert Lingua, M.D.
Matthew Wade, M.D.

NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY
Chantal Boisvert, M.D.
R. Wade Crow, M.D.

OPHTHALMIC PATHOLOGY
Donald S. Minckler M.D.

OPHTHALMIC PLASTIC & RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY/
OCULOFACIAL COSMETIC SURGERY

Jeremiah Tao, M.D.

OPTOMETRIC SERVICES
Kathleen Dang, O.D.
Scott Liegler, O.D.
Kailey Marshall, O.D.

PEDIATRIC OPHTHALMOLOGY
Chantal Boisvert, M.D.
Robert Lingua, M.D.
Jennifer Simpson, M.D.

RESEARCH
Lbachir BenMohamed, Ph.D.
James Jester, Ph.D.
Tibor Juhasz, Ph.D.

M. Cristina Kenney, M.D., Ph.D.
Henry Klassen, M.D., Ph.D.
Anthony Nesburn, M.D.
Eric Pearlman, Ph.D.
Jing Yang M.D.

RETINA/VITREOUS
Andrew Browne, M.D., Ph.D.
Baruch Kuppermann, M.D., Ph.D.

Stephanie Lu, M.D.
Mitul Mehta M.D.

UVEITIS
Sanjay Kedhar, M.D.

For ophthalmology
appointments, please call:

Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
949-824-2020

Laser Refractive Surgery
949-824-9970

UC Irvine Medical Center
714-456-7183

Optical Shop
949-824-7690 Phone
949-824-8850 Fax


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