In the front part of the eye, there is a watery fluid that keeps the eyeball firm and the vision clear. Under normal circumstances, this fluid constantly flows into and out of the eye in perfect balance. In open-angle glaucoma, the drainage system is blocked internally which causes the fluid to back up and the pressure inside the eye to rise. When the pressure gets too high it damages the delicate optic nerve which is responsible for carrying visual images to the brain. If the damage progresses, the eye will eventually go blind. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in America.
The first decision that has to be made in the treatment of open-angle glaucoma is whether to start therapy with a laser treatment or with eye drops. The advantage of laser surgery is that it can clean the internal blockage, restoring normal function to the natural outflow system for a period of time that could be years. If the patient decides on an eye drop first, and the drop is not successful in lowering the pressure to ideal levels, your doctor may recommend laser surgery before adding additional drops.
The eye will be anesthetized with drops before the procedure is started so there is minimal if any, discomfort to the patient. Most patients do not complain of pain during the procedure. Laser therapy usually takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
After Laser Therapy
Immediately following the procedure, you may receive drops in your eyes to help stabilize and comfort the eye. You should know that your eye may be slightly red, mildly irritated and the vision blurred for approximately 1 to 2 days following your treatment. The eye pressure can be somewhat unstable after laser therapy because of the surgery itself.
Schedule your Glaucoma Evaluation today
Call (727) 581-8706 to schedule your appointment
Meet Your Glaucoma Care Specialists
Jeffrey S. Schwartz, MD 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, MD 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.
R. Taylor Davis, MD a Florida native with generational ties to Tampa Bay, started his medical education at The University of Florida. He graduated Cum Laude with a dual degree in Microbiology and Cell Science. During college, he was involved in 3 years of clinical research at the renowned Diabetes Center of Excellence. He received a master’s degree in Pharmacology at Tulane School of Medicine and was a primary investigator in cancer research under Dr. Debaisis Mondal. He attended medical school at Florida Atlantic University. After medical school, he completed his residency program at the LSU Department of Ophthalmology in New Orleans. During his residency, Dr. Davis remained active in research and presented his findings at many ophthalmology conferences across the United States. Through his research and residency training, he discovered his passion for treating patients with Glaucoma. Dr. Davis then completed two additional years of specialized fellowship-training at the prestigious UT Southwestern Hospital in Dallas, TX, where he diagnosed and treated a high volume of patients with complex Glaucoma problems. Dr. Davis is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Glaucoma Society. In his free time he enjoys traveling, boating, working out, diving, skiing, and spending time with friends and family.