What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve is damaged, leading to progressive irreversible loss of vision. It is often associated with increase intraocular pressure. However, glaucoma can develop in the absence of elevated intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is known as the “silent thief of sight” because vision is often lost without the patient’s awareness until the disease is at an advanced state.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
The most common types of glaucoma are primary open-angle glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma. Both have completely different symptoms. Primary open-angle glaucoma is characterized by gradual loss of peripheral vision and tunnel vision, in the advanced stages, which occurs in both eyes.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma signs and symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sudden onset of visual disturbance often in low light
- Blurred vision and halos
- Severe eye pain and discomfort
- Reddening of the eye
Treatment – Surgery
Medications that are intended to decrease intraocular pressure can be highly effective in managing glaucoma. However, you may need surgery to treat glaucoma if medications fail to work. Surgeries used to treat glaucoma include laser surgery where the doctor uses a high-energy laser beam to decrease intraocular pressure. Opening the clogged drainage canals helps the fluid drain easily from the eye. This is an office procedure that lasts 10 to 20 minutes. Another procedure is filtering surgery. Filtering surgery is done in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. In this procedure, the surgeon will use delicate instruments under an operating microscope and remove a small piece of trabecular meshwork to facilitate fluid drainage. Another type of operation, called drainage implant surgery, may be an option for people with secondary glaucoma or for children with glaucoma. Drainage implant surgery takes place in a hospital or an outpatient clinic, and consists of a doctor inserting a small silicone tube in your eye to help drain the fluid.
Possible complications from glaucoma surgery include:
- Eye infection
- Abnormally high or low eye pressure
- Loss of vision
- Quick development of cataracts
If your eyes have been damaged after glaucoma surgery because of an error or the surgeon’s incompetence, you may have a right to compensation. Please contact a personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Todd J. Krouner to find out whether you have a claim. If you have suffered serious problems with vision that you did not have before, were forced to have additional surgeries because of the surgeon’s incompetence, or if you had to undergo a procedure that wasn’t right for you, call us today at (914) 238-5800 to schedule a free consultation.
For additional reliable information about glaucoma, please visit the website for the Glaucoma Foundation: www.glaucomafoundation.org