Glaucoma is a group of ocular diseases that creates damage to the fragile optic nerves in the back of the eye. With early detection and treatment, damage to the optic nerves can be slowed significantly.
The intraocular pressure (IOP) inside your eye is a major risk factor for optic nerve damage. The front third of the eye, known as the anterior chamber, contains clear fluid that continuously flows through it. This fluid exits the chamber in an area where the front of the eye (cornea) and colored part of the eye (iris) meet. When fluid reaches this area it flows through a porous meshwork and exits the chamber.
The easiest way to conceptualize this is to think of your eye as a sink, in which the faucet is turned on and the drain is open. If this drain becomes clogged, fluid cannot exit the eye as fast as it is being produced. This causes the fluid to back up in the anterior chamber, not unlike a drain that is clogging a sink. Because the eye is a closed system, it doesn’t have a way to handle the excess fluid, which can cause the pressure inside the anterior chamber to increase abnormally.
In most instances, elevated IOP is not felt and is completely asymptomatic, hence the term “silent thief of sight”. This underscores the importance of routine eye examinations with your local optometrist or eye surgeon for early detection and management of glaucoma. These examinations require specialized diagnostic testing and continued monitoring over time.
When the pressure builds, damage to the optic nerve can result. The optic nerve is the neural tissue inside the eye that transmits what the eye sees to the brain. If optic nerve cells become compressed due to the high pressure, they will eventually die and create an irreversible loss of vision.
Not all glaucomas are a result of elevated IOP and there are many different subtypes of glaucoma. Our doctors at MEI have extensive experience in treating all types of glaucoma using the most advanced diagnostics as well as the most up to date medical and surgical therapies.
There are painless and non-invasive tests that can be done to monitor the progression of glaucoma in addition to checking IOP. Missouri Eye Institute employs the most advanced technology available to help detect glaucoma and protect your vision, including technology to measure the depth of the microscopic layers of the retina that could be damaged by glaucoma. Additionally, Missouri Eye Institute conducts visual field examinations to specifically map out your field of vision in each eye. There are specific patterns that occur with glaucoma, and these can be measured and monitored routinely for change or stabilization.
Depending upon the results of these tests and evaluations, the doctors at Missouri Eye Institute will develop a plan for glaucoma treatment. Our doctors specialize in all types of glaucoma treatment including the use of eye drops, SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty) , MIGS (Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery) and traditional glaucoma surgeries (tube shunt and Trabeculectomy). Many patients struggle with eye drops due to side effects, dry eye, costs, and difficulty of use. Our goal is to make every effort to help you eliminate or minimize these where possible. Our eye doctors at Missouri Eye Institute will discuss these options with you in greater detail and tailor a treatment plan that is specific to your individual needs.
Below is a list of the advanced minimally invasive surgical treatment options we offer. Our board-certified doctors are continually learning new techniques. Thankfully for our patients these options continue to expand and improve.
These surgeries are designed to help patients with glaucoma in the least invasive way possible. Many of these surgeries are combined with cataract surgery. The goal of these surgeries is to help decrease the amount of eye drops our patients use and to reduce vision loss from glaucoma through better control of the intraocular pressure. Our doctors perform the most advanced treatments and will select the best treatment for your situation. Below is a list of the types of MIGS surgeries we perform.
A quick and painless laser treatment designed to improve outflow of fluid from the anterior chamber.
A small microstent used to improve outflow of fluid from the anterior chamber.
A laser designed to reduce the production of fluid for the anterior chamber.
Excellent treatment for advanced or advancing cases of severe glaucoma. These are the most time-tested treatments for long term lowering of intraocular pressure
Learn more about Glaucoma through the American Academy of Ophthalmology website.
Schedule your consultation today with Missouri Eye Institute to see how living with glaucoma can become more manageable and less burdensome. Whether you are looking to reduce the number of eye drops used, treat advanced glaucoma, or hope to combine a minimally invasive glaucoma treatment with your cataract surgery, our doctors are here to help you!
A small microcatheter used to open a canal in the eye into which fluid from the anterior chamber drains.
A small instrument designed to excise a portion of the anterior chamber that slows down drainage of fluid from the anterior chamber.
Very professional and friendly. I have been here twice in the last two years and I would highly recommend them to anyone.
Staff was informative and caring. They explained what to expect at every step of the procedure. Lots of caring and information.
The entire staff at MEI was very kind and professional. I highly recommend them for your eye care. Very friendly!