Glaucoma Treatment & Surgery

glaucoma-simulation-croppedWhat is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of adult blindness, and it is also the leading cause of preventable blindness.  Glaucoma results from characteristic deterioration of the optic nerve leading to progressive loss of the field of vision.  There are many different causes and risk factors for glaucoma including an individual’s age, genetics, ethnicity, trauma, and inflammation.

Why should I be screened for Glaucoma?

Though there is no cure for glaucoma, most of the vision loss from glaucoma is preventable with timely diagnosis and treatment.  You are born with approximately 1.2 million nerve fibers that comprise one optic nerve.  Unfortunately, once you lose nerve fibers from glaucoma, they are gone forever!  The rate of this nerve fiber loss can be substantially reduced or stabilized with proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is the treatment for Glaucoma?

There is only one proven therapy to decrease the rate of glaucoma damage — intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction.  The value of IOP lowering has been confirmed by many large-scale randomized clinical trials.  There are several methods to accomplish this goal: (1) Medications (i.e. eyedrops or pills); (2) Laser trabeculoplasty, iridotomy/iridoplasty, or other laser procedures; (3) Microincisional glaucoma surgery (“MIGS”) and (3) Traditional incisional glaucoma surgery.  Oftentimes, one or more of these treatment options must be used to control IOP adequately and thus lower the chances of losing your vision to glaucoma.  Typically, we start with a more conservative method of IOP control (e.g. eye drops or laser), and if this method is not effective, we progress to more invasive (but more effective) modalities like MIGS or traditional incisional glaucoma surgery.

Why are we qualified to diagnose and manage your Glaucoma?

Drs. Gus Stern and Sidney Chang have both completed specialized fellowships focusing on proper glaucoma diagnosis, management, and treatment.  In fact, they are the only dual fellowship-trained M.D. glaucoma specialists in the area which includes Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Frederick, and Cumberland.

Because of their advanced training, they are both well-versed on the full spectrum of glaucoma procedures including:  laser iridotomy, laser iridoplasty, goniosynechiolysis, iStent®, endocyclophotocoagulation, traditional trabeculectomy, Ex-PRESS® mini-shunt, goniotomy, and Ahmed and Baerveldt glaucoma drainage devices (tubes).  In addition, they are both well-trained in managing complications from previous glaucoma procedures (e.g. bleb resurrection techniques, bleb revisions for leaking blebs, tube explantations, choroidal drainage, etc).

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