Glaucoma

Shane Clark, OD, FAAO -  - Optometrist

Infinity EyeCare

Shane Clark, OD, FAAO

Optometrist located in Rapid City, SD

Glaucoma Specialist
Dr. Shane Clark provides effective treatment and care for his patients from in and around Rapid City, South Dakota, who suffer from glaucoma. Patients can make an appointment at his practice, Infinity EyeCare, to monitor the disease and gain access to the most modern and effective treatments available ranging from medication to laser surgery.

Glaucoma Q & A

by Shane Clark, OD, FAAO

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease where fluid builds up in your eye and puts pressure on your optic nerve. Over time, that pressure can cause damage to your optic nerve, leading to serious and permanent damage as well as blindness. There are two types of glaucoma:

  • Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease, develops over time because the eyes don’t drain as effectively as they should, which puts pressure on the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma is painless and doesn’t initially cause vision impairment.
  • Closed-angle glaucoma, by contrast, occurs when your iris is close to the drainage angle of your eye, causing a blockage and rapid buildup of fluid and pressure.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Open-angle glaucoma is symptomless in its early stages, so it is important to have regular eye exams that include glaucoma screening, especially if you have a family history of the disease. Closed-angle glaucoma attacks lead to blurred vision, acute eye pain, headaches, nausea, or the appearance of auras or halos around lights. If you experience these symptoms, contact Dr. Clark immediately.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

Glaucoma is diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. Dr. Clark will measure your eye pressure with the air-puff test. He will also check your eye’s drainage angle, test your peripheral vision, and examine and measure your optic nerve to check for damage. Since glaucoma typically doesn’t cause symptoms in its early stages, you should have regular eye exams where Dr. Clark can test your eyes for the condition. If caught early, glaucoma can often be treated and managed to preserve your vision.

How is glaucoma treated?

In most cases, glaucoma is controlled with medicated eye drops that reduce the pressure in your eye. The eye drops reduce the amount of fluid produced in your eye or improve the drainage flow. If necessary, Dr. Clark will recommend laser surgery to treat glaucoma. Patients with open-angle glaucoma may benefit from trabeculoplasty, where the drainage angle is treated to improve the flow of liquid and reduce eye pressure. Iridotomy is used to treat closed-angle glaucoma by creating a tiny hole in the iris to improve drainage.

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