Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the internal fluid pressure of your eye rises to a point that the optic nerve is damaged. The optic nerve carries visual information to the brain. As the fibers that make up the optic nerve are damaged, the amount and quality of information sent to the brain decreases and a loss of vision occurs. The pressure that builds up is usually due to inadequate drainage of fluid normally produced in your eyes. Glaucoma is usually effectively treated with prescription eye drops and medicines that must be taken regularly. In some cases, laser therapy or surgery may be required. Glaucoma is currently the second leading cause of blindness in the United States.
Dr. Ringel received extensive experience in the management of glaucoma care while completing his residency training. He uses the latest ophthalmic medications to treat this ocular disease. The office is equipped with specialized equipment that can often detect the disease before a person loses vision. One of these instruments is called a GDx. It uses a laser to measure the thickness of nerve fibers in the back of the eye where damage begins. During a routine eye exam Dr. Ringel checks patients for glaucoma. If a patient exhibit signs or risk factors for the disease he may recommend that you return for some of these specialized tests to determine whether a problem exists.
Some common risk factors to consider include family history of glaucoma, African-American ancestry, high blood pressure, diabetes, and female gender. Increased age is another risk factor, though even children can be afflicted with glaucoma.