Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS
Andrew A. Dahl, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Dahl's educational background includes a BA with Honors and Distinction from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and an MD from Cornell University, where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He had an internal medical internship at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Glaucoma facts
- What is glaucoma?
- How common is glaucoma?
- What causes glaucoma?
- What are glaucoma risk factors?
- What are the different types of glaucoma?
- What are glaucoma symptoms and signs?
- How is glaucoma diagnosed?
- How often should someone be checked (screened) for glaucoma?
- What is the treatment for glaucoma?
- Glaucoma medications (eyedrops)
- Glaucoma surgery or laser
- Can glaucoma be prevented?
- What is in the future for glaucoma?
- Find a local Eye Doctor in your town
Can glaucoma be prevented?
Primary open-angle glaucoma cannot be prevented, given our current state of knowledge. However the optic-nerve damage and visual loss resulting from glaucoma can be prevented by earlier diagnosis, effective treatment, and compliance with treatment.
Secondary types of glaucoma can often be prevented by avoidance of trauma to the eye and prompt treatment of eye inflammation and other diseases of the eye or body that may cause secondary forms of glaucoma.
Most cases of visual loss from angle-closure glaucomas can be prevented by the appropriate use of laser iridotomy in eyes at risk for the development of acute or chronic angle-closure glaucoma.
What is in the future for glaucoma?
New eyedrops will continue to become available for the treatment of glaucoma. Some drops will be new classes of agents. Other drops will combine some already existing agents into one bottle to achieve an additive effect and to make it easier and more economical for patients to take their medication.
Although lowering intraocular pressure is still the primary method of treating glaucoma, experts see the disease as more a neurological condition than an eye disorder. Researchers are investigating the therapeutic role of neuroprotection of the optic nerve, especially in patients who seem to be having progressive nerve damage and visual field loss despite relatively normal intraocular pressures. Animal models have shown that certain chemical mediators can reduce injury or death of nerve cells. Proving such a benefit for the human optic nerve, however, is more difficult because, for one thing, biopsy or tissue specimens are not readily available. Nevertheless, if any of these mediators in eyedrops can be shown to protect the human optic nerve from glaucomatous damage, this would be a wonderful advance in preventing blindness.
In other studies, new surgical methods are being evaluated to lower the intraocular pressure more safely without significant risk of damage to the eye or loss of vision.
Finally, increased efforts to enhance public awareness of glaucoma, national free screenings for those individuals at risk, earlier diagnosis and treatment and better compliance with treatment are our best hopes to reduce vision loss from glaucoma.
Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American Board of Surgery
American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Primary Angle Closure, Preferred Practice Pattern." Oct. 2010.
American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma, Preferred Practice Pattern." Oct. 2010.
American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Suspect, Preferred Practice Pattern." 2005.
Reviewed by: John P. Keenan, MD; Board Certified Ophthalmology
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