Glaucoma Treatment & Surgery
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the U.S., and can affect patients of all ages, many of who do not experience any symptoms and may not be aware that they have the disease. Glaucoma actually refers to a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve as a result of increased pressure within the eye, but can also be caused by a severe eye infection, injury, blocked blood vessels or inflammatory conditions of the eye.
There are two main types of glaucoma, open-angle and angle-closure. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma and involves fluid in the eye not draining properly through the trabecular meshwork. Angle-closure glaucoma involves a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye and poor drainage because the angle between the iris and the cornea is too narrow.
While some patients may experience symptoms from glaucoma as the disease progresses, others do not learn they have the condition until they undergo a routine eye exam. Tonometry (checking the eye pressure), fundus exams, and visual field testing are all used to diagnose glaucoma.
Treatment for Glaucoma
Once glaucoma has been diagnosed, treatment should begin as soon as possible to help minimize the risk of permanent vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing further damage from occurring. Most cases of glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser or microsurgery. The best treatment for your individual case depends on the type and severity of the disease, and can be discussed with your doctor.
- Eye drops are used to reduce fluid production in the front of the eye or to help drain excess fluid, but can lead to redness, stinging, irritation or blurry vision. Patients should tell their doctor about any allergies they have to minimize the risk of side effects.
- Laser surgery for glaucoma aims to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye or eliminate fluid blockages through laser trabeculoplasty, iridotomy or cyclophotocoagulation.
There are several surgical options for treating glaucoma. The main goal is to reduce the eye pressure that causes glaucoma. Surgery is often performed after medication and laser procedures have been found inadequate.
Microinvasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)
Microinvasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) is an innovative and minimally invasive approach to treating glaucoma. MIGS procedures aim to reduce the intraocular pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve, ultimately preserving the patient’s vision. Unlike traditional glaucoma surgeries, which involve more invasive techniques, MIGS procedures utilize smaller incisions and specialized devices to achieve their goals.
During a MIGS procedure, surgeons create new drainage pathways or enhance existing ones to improve the outflow of aqueous humor, the fluid inside the eye. This is typically achieved by implanting tiny stents or devices into the eye’s natural drainage system, the trabecular meshwork, to facilitate fluid flow. These procedures are often performed alongside cataract surgery, as the two conditions frequently coexist. The combination of MIGS and cataract surgery can offer patients improved visual outcomes and potentially reduce their dependence on glaucoma medications. MIGS procedures are typically conducted on an outpatient basis and entail minimal discomfort, resulting in shorter recovery times compared to traditional glaucoma surgeries.
It’s important to note that the suitability of MIGS varies depending on the patient’s specific glaucoma type and severity, as well as their overall eye health. Dr. Miller will help determine if a MIGS procedure would be an option for you.
"Dr. Miller is a true professional! Knowledgeable, kind, and he really takes the time to listen to his patients. He was great with me and wonderful with my kids as well!! His office is clean and welcoming and his staff are friendly and always helpful. I am so impressed with this practice!!"
"One of the best experiences I’ve had at the eye doctors. Got me seen quickly and explained everything to me very well. Friendly staff and great location. Dr. CJ Miller is the best!"
"Doc Miller is true professional with great training. I was amazed at the results of my surgery. I recommend him all the time."
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1485 E. 3900 S. Suite 103
Salt Lake City, UT 84124