The Eye Institute of West Florida has three board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologists and an optometrist, all with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and the most common among African-Americans.
Our team offers patients compassionate care in a comfortable environment. Visit any of our six locations in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater to experience how we treat patients and their family members.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that often strikes without warning. Eyes normally drain keeping fluid and intraocular eye pressure stable. If the drainage angle stops working correctly, pressure builds up in the eye and the optic nerve becomes damaged.
Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma that occurs in about 90% of cases, develops slowly and without symptoms. The exact causes of this type of glaucoma are unknown. However, other forms of glaucoma, such as acute angle glaucoma, may occur in conjunction with other abnormalities of the eye.
Symptoms of Open-Angle Glaucoma
There are no obvious symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. That is why it is called the “silent thief of sight.” Damage to the optic nerve often goes unnoticed in the early stages.
The only way to tell you to have glaucoma is to have a complete eye exam at least every one to two years. Detection of glaucoma may go undetected unless properly diagnosed by a physician.
Check out the article “Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Sight” to read about two of our patients with glaucoma.
How long since your last eye exam?
Call (727)581-8706 to schedule your appointment
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
With no obvious symptoms, it is important to understand your risk factors of getting glaucoma. You have a higher than normal risk if you:
- Are over the age of 40
- Have a family member with glaucoma
- Are African-American, Hispanic or Asian
- Have high blood pressure, diabetes, migraines or poor blood circulation
- Are nearsighted or farsighted
- Have had an eye injury
- Use long-term steroid medications
- Have corneas that are thin in the center
- Have a thinning optic nerve
Treatment for Glaucoma
Common treatments for glaucoma include oral or topical medication, as well as laser and conventional surgery. You and your physician work together as a team to preserve your vision and help you maintain your quality of life.
There is no “cure” for glaucoma, but vision loss can usually be prevented or slowed by proper treatment and continual follow-up and monitoring of the disease. Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of preventable vision loss.
Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, Dr. Sandra Johnson, and Dr. Siddarth Rathi are glaucoma specialists at The Eye Institute of West Florida available to diagnose, treat and provide follow-up care for our patients with glaucoma.
I have always been very satisfied with the service at the Eye Institute. I have praised the care and my satisfaction with Dr. Schwartz to anyone who has a glaucoma problem!
Jeff –patient of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz
About Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency. Fluid in your eye can’t drain the way it should due to a blockage. This causes the intraocular pressure inside your eye to go up suddenly. This can happen within a matter of hours and you will not be able to ignore the symptoms.
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Redness in the white part of the eye
- Pupils may be different sizes
- Sudden loss of sight
You can lose your sight completely if you don’t get treatment quickly.
Proper management of glaucoma can help save your eyesight. Our team of glaucoma specialists at The Eye Institute of West Florida creates an individualized care plan consisting of ongoing treatments, routine eye exams, follow up appointments and monitoring. For more information or to schedule an eye exam, call (727) 581-8706.