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 a general term used to describe a group of diseases all having the common characteristic of pressure within the eye that is associated with ongoing damage. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in America.
In the front of the eye there is a watery fluid which nourishes the cornea and other important eye parts of the eye. Under normal circumstances this fluid constantly flows into and out of the eye in perfect balance.
In glacuoma the out flow of fluid is blocked and this causes the pressure inside the eye to rise. When the pressure becomes too high, it causes damage to the delicate optic nerve which is responsible for carrying visual images to the brain.
Treatment usuall begins with laser surgery, which helps to lower pressure by cleaning the blocked drain. The next phase of treatment is with medicated drops which help to lower the pressure by decreasing the amount of fluid coming in the eye or by increasing the amount of fluid leaving the eye. When these treatments are not successful, surgical intervention is recommended.
Based upon the amount of damage present, your physician must determine just what pressure level is safe for each individual patient (target pressure): the more damage present, the lower the pressure needs to be to prevent further damage.
Surgical intervention is recommended once laser and medical therapy have not adequately controlled the intraocular pressure. However, there are a few cases which surgical intervention is recommended earlier on in the course of treatment.
With no obvious symptoms, it is important to understand your risk factors of getting glaucoma. You have a higher than normal risk if you:
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.
When you are choosing where you will have your glaucoma surgery and treatment regimen, we are available to consult you on your options. Give us a call at 727-581-8706 to schedule your consultation.
If you are interested in reading more the different types of glaucoma and treatment options including drops and surgery, please refer to the following pages:
Choose The Eye Institute of West Florida for your glaucoma treatment to get the best vision results possible.
"I have medical conditions that make working with me a challenge. Dr. Schwartz takes into account my whole body not just my eyes. I have allergies and with some surgeries, I have had bad reactions. Brian caught the allergies and did what could to make me as comfortable without anything for surgery. Kim sat next to me and held my hand. Dr. Schwartz was great and gave me a break during the surgery, plus gave me more drops to numb my eye. Dr. Schwartz, Brian, and Kim were great. Please let them know what a great job they did under trying time."
Gail – Patient of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz
Jeffrey S. Schwartz, M.D. is the first full-time board-certified, fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist in Pinellas County. He has been with The Eye Institute since 1988. His practice is limited to diagnosis, treatment, laser therapy and surgery of patients with glaucoma and other related diseases. Dr. Schwartz completed his residency at The University of South Florida and his glaucoma fellowship at the prestigious Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. He is active in medical research and has made major contributions to the treatment and management of glaucoma. Dr. Schwartz is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, He serves as the medical consultant to pharmaceutical companies in the search for more effective glaucoma medications. Dr. Schwartz is on the Board of Directors and is the Medical Consultant for the Lighthouse of Pinellas and has served as the Medical Director for a number of health care plans.
Amy Z. Martino, M.D. completed her glaucoma fellowship at the world-renowned Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Health System and School of Medicine, the #1 eye hospital and vision research center in the country. She was the first doctor in Hillsborough County to implant the Hydrus microstent for glaucoma and one of the first surgeons in Florida selected to implant the glaucoma iStent® device, the world’s smallest medical implant. Her surgical talents include glaucoma lasers and specialized glaucoma surgeries (such as trabeculectomies and glaucoma drainage devices). Dr. Martino is also a staff physician at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, where she takes pride in serving those who have served our country. As a graduate of the University of South Florida, she enjoys giving lectures to the current ophthalmology residents. She volunteers her time through the Eye Care America program and Catholic Charities Medical Missions to help underprivileged patients receive eye care.