Glaucoma is a group of blinding eye conditions that cause damage to the Optic Nerve. Glaucoma may progress without any warning symptoms and is the leading cause of blindness in adults over 60 years of age. Most commonly, glaucoma damage is associated with abnormally high pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure). Many types of Glaucoma have no early symptoms or warning signs and a patient may not notice any visual changes until the disease is advanced.
Vision loss from Glaucoma cannot be recovered, so it is extremely important to have complete eye exams regularly. If Glaucoma is detected early, vision loss can be slowed or even prevented. If you are diagnosed with Glaucoma, you will typically require treatment for the remainder of your life. Glaucoma does not go away on its own.
Hester Ophthalmology patients benefit from state-of-the-art glaucoma evaluation equipment and skillful clinical evaluation. We utilize photographic stereo (3D) evaluation of the optic nerve, automated visual field exams with the Humphrey field analyzer, and/or optic nerve fiber layer monitoring with Heidelberg Ocular Coherence Tomography.
A large percentage of glaucoma patients are successfully treated with pressure lowering topical eye drops. When medication is not effective, laser or other surgeries may be employed. Increasingly, glaucoma laser treatment is also used worldwide as a first-line treatment alternative to chronic eye drops. The need for topical drops is often reduced after the performance of such procedures.
Hester Ophthalmology houses an on-site glaucoma laser, the QuantelSoLuTis “SLT Laser”. Dr. Hester is pleased to perform Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) in the clinic. This very safe procedure usually takes only about 5 minutes and is painless. Patients may go home without restrictions shortly after the procedure. SLT is reimbursed by most insurances.
Dr. Hester also offers the iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass during cataract surgery. The iStent is 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lens placed in your eye during cataract surgery and is designed to reduce your eye pressure. This procedure can be accomplished through the same incision made for cataract surgery and only adds a few minutes of operative time. Many iStent patients experience reduced dependence on eye drops to manage glaucoma.