P: I developed glaucoma this year secondary to five retinal-related surgeries several years ago. There are tissue problems, and I’ve developed a wound leak, which may necessitate removal of my Ahmed shunt if the leak does not stop. (Another shunt is not an option in my case due to scarring.) My doctor at Duke Eye Center wants me to think about TCP “just in case,” but my research indicates that ECP may be a better choice, despite being incisional. [Note: TCP stands for transscleral cyclophotocoagulation; ECP stands for endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation.]
At one of your initial visits after glaucoma treatments have been initiated your doctor will choose a target pressure as a goal pressure for your eyes. This target eye pressure is your doctor’s best guess as to a “safe” pressure so no further glaucoma nerve damage develops. The number will depend on how high the eye pressure was before treatment, how much damage has developed, and your age and medical conditions. It is beneficial for you to understand the concept of a target pressure and know the target pressure your doctor has chosen for your eyes. If you don’t know your target pressure, ask your doctor at your next visit.
Glaucoma (the sneak thief of sight) refers to certain eye diseases that affect the optic nerve and cause vision loss . It typically produces elevated pressure inside the eye, called intraocular pressure (IOP) and can usually be classified as either open-angle (chronic conditions of long duration) or closed-angle (angle closure), which occur suddenly. The elderly, African-Americans, and people with family histories of the disease are at greatest risk. There are no symptoms in the early stages and by the time the patient notices vision changes, visual loss due to glaucoma can only be halted, not reversed. Glaucoma is usually treated with eye drops, although lasers and surgery can also be used. Most cases can be controlled well with these treatments, thereby preventing further loss of vision. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to preserving sight in people with glaucoma.