Glaucoma Specialist

Grochmal Eye Center

Ophthalmology located in Catonsville, MD

Nearly three million adults over the age of 40 in the United States have glaucoma. This progressive eye condition doesn’t cause symptoms but can lead to vision loss and even blindness. Grochmal Eye Center in Baltimore, serving the Washington, DC, metro area, specializes in the diagnosis and management of this progressive, but treatable eye condition. To schedule a complete eye exam and glaucoma screening with Dr. Jay C. Grochmal, MD, or a member of his team, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma isn’t a specific eye disease, but a medical term used to refer to a group of eye conditions that cause an increase in intraocular eye pressure. The rise in pressure occurs if your eye is making too much fluid (aqueous) or the fluid isn’t able to drain. 

Left untreated, the excess pressure in your eye damages your optic nerve affecting vision. Optic nerve damage is not repairable, and if left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

While anyone can develop glaucoma, you may be more at risk if you:

  • Are 40 or older
  • Are of African or Asian descent
  • Have diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Are extremely nearsighted
  • Are a long-term steroid user

Regular eye exams can identify changes in your eye and assess eye pressure. Detecting and treating glaucoma early may prevent long-term vision issues.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

Grochmal Eye Center conducts comprehensive eye exams to screen patients for glaucoma. During an exam, you receive a:

  • Visual acuity test
  • Visual field test
  • Dilated eye exam
  • Tonometer test
  • Pachymetry screening

The tonometer test is the specific test that measures ocular eye pressure to screen for glaucoma. 

What are the medical treatments for glaucoma?

Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma, but treatment is available that may stop the damage to your optic nerve. Medical treatments may include prescription eye drops or selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). SLT treats the trabecular meshwork in your eye to improve fluid drainage. 

The SLT is the preferred initial non-surgical treatment for glaucoma and can be repeated as needed with minimal risk to you. After the SLT procedure, you can stop your glaucoma medications, which may alleviate the side effects you experience and save you money on prescription costs. The team at Grochmal Eye Center can also perform SLT laser surgery on people who’ve had unsuccessful results from previous laser surgery for glaucoma. 

What are the surgical treatments for glaucoma?

Surgery is also sometimes recommended for the treatment of glaucoma. These procedures are generally referred to as minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). The surgical treatments used at Grochmal Eye Center include:

Drainage implants

Grochmal Eye Center offers two drainage implant options for the treatment of glaucoma, including the XEN GEL implant and iStent®. These devices decrease intraocular pressure by creating a shunt to assist with fluid drainage out of your eye. The team places drainage implants at the ambulatory surgery center.

Goniotomy

The goniotomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening in the trabecular meshwork to drain the fluid. Grochmal Eye Center performs the goniotomy with a kahook blade. 

Endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (ECP)

Grochmal Eye Center also offers ECP, which is a laser procedure designed to decrease fluid production in the eye for people who’ve had (or need) cataract surgery.

Glaucoma is serious and, when left untreated, increases the risk of blindness. But with regular comprehensive eye exams, glaucoma can be found early, and treatment can be started to minimize or prevent damage. 

To schedule your glaucoma screening, call Grochmal Eye Center, or request an appointment online today.