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Question:
If glaucoma is treated properly with medication and regular eye doctor visits, can you avoid blindness? Also, my doctor has recommended I have an iridotomy to help lower the pressure.

Answer:
Glaucoma is the number one cause of preventable, yet irreversible blindness in the Western world. If glaucoma is detected early and treated appropriately, vision loss should not occur. However, glaucoma remains a challenging disease to detect in some individuals because it is not symptomatic early and treatment can be difficult. Medications control the eye pressure and prevent glaucoma damage from progressing in most, but not all, individuals. In some patients, laser or surgery will be required to control the glaucoma. An iridotomy is indicated if there is some degree of blockage to the flow of the aqueous fluid in the eye from the back of the eye into the front of the eye where the fluid exits the eye through the drainage system. If there is sufficient blockage to narrow access to the drains or to actually close off the drains, an iridotomy can be very beneficial and important in order to better control the eye pressure.

Answered by: Louis B. Cantor, MDDr. Louis B. Cantor

Categories: Eye Conditions; Glaucoma; Eye Diseases; Eye Surgery

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Answered: Nov 29, 2010

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