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Eye diseases can be sneaky. And sometimes, you won’t even know something is wrong until after you have a routine eye exam. You might not even have symptoms.

Glaucoma is one of these stealth diseases. Your vision might seem fine. But behind the scenes, it’s increasing your eye’s fluid pressure. This growing pressure can damage your optic nerve and cause vision loss.

While glaucoma isn’t curable, there’s good news — it’s treatable. And Cleveland Clinic eye care providers are here to help. We can quickly diagnose and treat your glaucoma to make sure your vision stays intact as much as possible. Our providers will work with you to create a treatment plan that helps you see clearly for a long time to come.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Glaucoma Care?

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Demonstrated expertise:

Our eye specialists (ophthalmologists) are board-certified and fellowship-trained in diagnosing and treating glaucoma. We use comprehensive eye examinations and advanced technologies to find glaucoma and treat the condition as early as possible. Meet our team.

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Specialized equipment:

At Cleveland Clinic, we use sophisticated tools that let us look at your eyes closer than ever before. This means we can quickly diagnose issues and start crafting your personalized treatment plan.

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Patient-centered care:

We know eye problems can be stressful and frustrating. That’s why we’re here to do everything we can to protect your vision. We’ll listen to you and base our treatment recommendations on what’s best for your eye health.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world. And we’re among the world’s most advanced eye centers, doing everything from basic care to complicated surgeries.

Diagnosing Glaucoma at Cleveland Clinic

While you might have learned you have glaucoma during a regular eye exam, we’ll do another exam so we can understand how your disease has progressed. We may also do other tests to learn more about your particular condition, so we can personalize your treatment.

Dilation

First, we’ll use special eye drops to widen (dilate) your pupils. This helps us see more closely inside your eyes. We’ll use a bright light and microscope (slit lamp) to see how healthy the blood vessels in your eye are. We’ll also look at the various parts of your eye like your cornea, retina, iris and optic nerve.

These drops might sting for just a quick second, but it doesn’t last. Your eyes will also be sensitive to light for a bit, so we can give you shades to wear home. Or you can wear your favorite sunglasses.

Eye pressure test

We’ll also measure the pressure created by the fluid inside of your eye. We’ll numb your eyes with drops. Then, we’ll use a device to measure pressure. This is called tonometry. Because your eyes are numb, you won’t feel us doing this.

Optic nerve imaging

Taking detailed pictures of your optic nerve and surrounding tissue can help us find even the smallest nerve changes. We’ll do this using advanced imaging technologies like optical coherence tomography. This lets us quickly learn more about your glaucoma.

Visual field test

Glaucoma often will first affect whether or not you can see out of the side of your eyes (peripheral vision). We’ll do a visual field test to see how far up, down, left and right you can see without moving your head.

Who Treat Glaucoma

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Glaucoma Treatment at Cleveland Clinic

At Cleveland Clinic, we treat all types of glaucoma. And while we can’t cure glaucoma, we can help keep your eye pressure under control and your vision from getting worse. Your treatment will depend on the type of glaucoma you have. We’ll listen to what you’re experiencing. Then, we’ll work together to create a personalized treatment plan that’s best for you. Your provider might recommend:

Medicated eye drops

Eye drops that help drain the pressure-causing fluid are the most common glaucoma treatment. Using these drops every day can reduce your eye pressure and limit more damage to your optic nerve.

Laser treatment

We might use lasers to treat your glaucoma, in combination with drops. We’ll numb your eye with special drops and then use a strong beam of light to open small areas in your eye to help drain pressurized fluid. The results can last up to five years, depending on your condition and how you respond to treatment.

Surgery

Sometimes, we might decide surgery is the best option for your glaucoma. It can help us control your eye pressure better and faster than drops or lasers. Surgery can slow down vision loss, but it won’t bring back your vision if it was damaged by glaucoma.

Our providers do various glaucoma surgeries. The surgery that’s right for you depends on the type of glaucoma you have and how bad it is. Options could include:

  • Glaucoma implants: Your surgeon will cut an opening into the white part of your eye. We’ll then insert a small tube (shunt) to drain fluid from your eye.
  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS): We’ll make tiny incisions (cuts) in your eye. Then, we’ll use small tools to go in and reduce your eye pressure. This will improve drainage.
  • Trabeculectomy (glaucoma filtration surgery): In this surgery, we’ll create a small opening at the top of your eye. These openings will allow built-up fluid to drain out and relieve pressure.

Taking the Next Step

While we can’t fix glaucoma for good, treating it right away can protect your eyes from more damage. At Cleveland Clinic, our providers will work with you to create a glaucoma treatment plan that matches your needs and your lifestyle. We’ll do what we can to keep your eyes seeing clearly for many years down the road.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s glaucoma experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s glaucoma experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


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