Glaucoma is an eye condition that can either rob you of sight – sometimes quickly and other times slowly over time.
In either case, early intervention can preserve your eyesight by either slowing or preventing vision loss.
Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists in Leesburg, FL, excel at providing comprehensive glaucoma care including management and surgery.
Certain types of glaucoma are a medical emergency. While uncommon, you should see your doctor immediately if you have severe eye pain, headaches, nausea, halos, blurred vision, or vision changes. We are close by with offices in Leesburg, Eustis, and Clermont, FL.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that damage the optic nerve and can lead to blindness. In most cases, damage to the optic nerve is caused by abnormally high intraocular pressure in the eye.
Glaucoma is often called the “silent thief of sight” because in most cases there are no noticeable symptoms as it slowly robs a patient of sight. Regular eye exams are a patient’s best defense as it allows our ophthalmologist to identify damage to the optic nerve before significant vision has been lost.
There are many types of glaucoma but the most common is open-angle glaucoma, depicted above. In a normal eye, excess fluid drains out of the eye via drainage canals, as shown by the blue arrows. However, when these “pipes” become clogged fluid and pressure builds in the eye, which can damage the optic nerve.
Know Your Glaucoma Risk
Anyone can get glaucoma, but some people are at higher risk, including:
- African Americans over age 40
- All people over age 60
- People with a family history of glaucoma
- People who have diabetes
Early detection is the best prevention against life-changing damage to the optic nerve and vision loss. Our board-certified eye doctors, Jeffrey A. Sheridan and Craig D. Fishman, have the extensive skills and technology to identify and treat glaucoma. If you have not had an eye exam recently, or have noticed a change in your vision, now is the time to get a checkup. Most vision insurance includes coverage for regular eye exams and glaucoma tests. The earlier glaucoma is identified and treatment started, the better the odds of saving your vision.
Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists
Why Choose Us?
Our ophthalmologists are board-certified and stay up-to-date with the latest developments, studies, and trends in ophthalmology, optometry, and surgical eye care. Our doctors each have about 20 years of experience and meet directly with patients to personally address their needs and concerns.
Our practices are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including a Smart Selecta® Duet™ laser platform that combines the advantages of a YAG laser with innovative Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) technology. The Selecta represents the next generation of ophthalmic lasers.
Superior Patient Care
For more than 20 years, the team at Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists here in Florida have offered expert, personalized care. We have three locations in Leesburg, Eustis, and Clermont, FL, which allows our friendly and compassionate team to make eye care exceptionally convenient.
*According to the World Health Organization
Glaucoma Types & Symptoms
The ophthalmologists at Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists in Leesburg, Eustis, and Clermont, FL, have advanced technology to diagnose and treat even rare types of glaucoma. The more common types of glaucoma include:
This is the most common form of glaucoma and occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, much like clogged plumbing that won’t allow water to flow through. Without the ability to drain, the intraocular pressure rises as fluid in the eye builds up. If not treated, open-angle glaucoma can cause a gradual loss of vision.
Most people have no early symptoms. The first sign may be when you notice a loss of side vision as your visual field narrows. However, this happens so slowly, people often do not notice the change. Regular eye exams can catch glaucoma and visual field losses at their earliest stages to help halt progression of the disease and additional vision loss.
Angle-closure glaucoma is also called acute angle glaucoma and is less common. It occurs when drainage canals are suddenly blocked or covered over, similar to a sink in which the drain is closed. When this happens, the intraocular pressure can quickly increase in the eye and damage vision. If not treated promptly, you could lose your sight completely.
- Eye pain
- Severe headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Very blurry or hazy vision
- Seeing rainbows or halos
- Redness in the eye
- Pupils of different sizes
- Sudden loss of sight
Sometimes glaucoma damages the optic nerve without any rise in eye pressure. This is called low-tension or normal-tension glaucoma. While researchers are unsure what causes normal-tension glaucoma, they suspect it may include abnormalities in the blood flow to the optic nerve and structural weakness of the optic nerve tissue.
Like open-angle glaucoma, in the early stages, most people don’t have symptoms and don’t notice the gradual decline in their vision. For this reason, regular eye examinations are essential for detecting and treating the disease early.
About Half of People with Glaucoma Don’t Know It
Early glaucoma doesn’t usually have symptoms, which is why half of the people with glaucoma don’t even know they have it. Vision loss can be minimized with treatment, so early detection is key.
With their trademark careful and personalized diagnoses, Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists can determine the optimal treatment to control your symptoms and protect your vision.
We take extra care to tailor treatment to your stage of glaucoma and take a conservative approach to eye care. We will always start with moderate treatment before recommending more advanced measures, such as surgery. Glaucoma treatments include:
Prescription eye drops can be used to decrease the production of fluid in the eye and increase drainage to reduce eye pressure. There are many types of eye drop medications that can be used. They are typically applied once or twice a day. Since there is no cure for glaucoma, you may need to use eye drops daily for life to manage progression of the disease.
Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists is equipped with advanced laser technology, which allows us to conveniently perform advanced glaucoma treatments in-house instead of at an ambulatory surgery center. Drs. Sheridan and Fishman may recommend laser treatment if eye drops do not meet your needs. Depending on the type of glaucoma you have, we may perform argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT), selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), or laser peripheral iridotomy.
If medications and laser treatment do not help manage your glaucoma, we may recommend surgery to safeguard your vision. Surgical options include inserting stents or performing a trabeculectomy. Both techniques reduce eye pressure. The stent is a minute drainage tube inserted into the white of the eye that allows excess fluid to drain. In a trabeculectomy, our doctor will remove some tissue from the eye’s drainage channel, the trabecular meshwork, to allow fluid to drain and reduce eye pressure.