Glaucoma

Glaucoma Specialist
Glaucoma is the number one cause of irreversible blindness in the world. As a top eye care provider in the New York and Northern New Jersey region, Dr. Cohen and his team provide the most advanced care for men and women with glaucoma, including techniques to identify the disease in its earliest and most treatable stages.

Glaucoma Q&A

What causes glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve located at the back of your eye. The optic nerve is essential for vision, sending messages of the objects you see to your brain where they can be “decoded” and translated into actual images. Glaucoma occurs when the natural fluid inside your eye fails to drain properly, resulting in a buildup of pressure that compresses the nerve fibers, resulting in permanent vision loss. The disease occurs most commonly in people with specific risk factors, including:

  • family history of glaucoma

  • diabetes

  • high blood pressure

  • heart disease

  • thyroid disease

  • being farsighted

  • prior eye injury

  • history of elevated pressure inside the eye

  • long-term use of steroid medications

  • presence of some other types of eye diseases

  • Asian or African descent

The primary risk factor for glaucoma is older age. In fact, the National Eye Institute (NEI) estimates about 3 million people age 45 and older have glaucoma and many don't even know they have the disease.

How is glaucoma treated?

Glaucoma treatment usually begins with the use of special eye drops to help reduce the pressure inside your eye. Sometimes, oral medications are also prescribed. When medications are not enough to keep the intraocular pressure under control, surgery may be needed to help promote proper drainage and prevent fluid and pressure from building up. Both traditional and laser procedures are available to treat men and women with glaucoma.

How can I prevent glaucoma?

Because glaucoma typically causes no symptoms until it has progressed to the point of vision loss, having regular dilated eye exams with an ophthalmologist skilled in recognizing the disease in its earliest stages is your best defense. It's also important to know your risk factors so you can take steps to reduce or eliminate those risks and decrease the likelihood of developing glaucoma.

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