By Dr. Jean E Keamy
In light of the fact that the eye lens and cornea have no blood supply, they must rely on the aqueous humor (the watery substance that fills the space between the lens and cornea) for nutrients and waste removal.
Normally, the amount of aqueous humor produced in the eye remains in balance as the amount produced equals the amount that drains into the blood stream. However, some people develop elevated levels of intraocular pressure, which is the leading risk factor for open-angle glaucoma (the most common type of glaucoma).
While not everyone with elevated inner-eye pressure develops glaucoma, early detection through a comprehensive eye exam can lead to treatment that saves sight that would otherwise be permanently lost.
Once glaucoma is suspected, several treatment options are available. The first line of therapy is usually medical therapy. By using eye drops that lower intraocular pressure, those at risk for developing glaucoma can delay (or even prevent) the eye disease.
For those that cannot tolerate medical therapy, there are laser therapies that help reduce the eye pressure by increasing the outflow of the aqueous humor in the eye.
Glaucoma surgery is usually reserved for cases that have failed more conservative measures.
Dr. Jean Keamy is a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract surgery, refractive surgery, eyelid surgery and diseases of the eye. She owns Keamy Eye & Laser Centre at 24 Lyman St., Suite 130, Westborough and can be reached at 508-836-8733. Learn more at www.seemedrkeamy.com. Archives of articles from previous issues can be read at www.fiftyplusadvocate.com.