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Lowering Eye Pressure

Glaucoma is a potentially blinding eye disease in which uncontrolled eye pressure leads to damage of the optic nerve. If undiagnosed or inadequately treated, glaucoma can lead to severe loss of vision or blindness. The diagnosis is made through a combination of the doctor's examination, measurement of the pressure in the eye, special photography of the optic nerve, and testing of the peripheral vision through a test called a visual field test.

Vantage Eye Center is unique in its ability to offer complete glaucoma care in one location. In addition to a basic eye exam to screen for glaucoma, the following services are available:

Visual Field Testing
Vantage Eye Center utilizes the Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer, the most widely used visual field tester in the industry. This test can detect early deficits in the side vision from glaucoma, and is used to follow patients with known or suspected glaucoma.

Optical Coherence Tomography
The Optical Coherence Tomographer is a special instrument used to obtain images of the optic nerve. Using a property called "birefringence", this instrument rapidly and comfortably analyzes the shape and contour of the optic nerve and the retinal nerve fiber layer, two areas of the eye that are damaged if glaucoma is present. In addition, the tomographer can compare examinations over time and detect early changes from glaucoma that otherwise may be impossible to detect. This instrument gives our doctors a highly sensitive method of 
diagnosing and monitoring glaucoma.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
If glaucoma cannot be controlled by eyedrops alone, or if patients cannot tolerate the side effects of glaucoma eyedrops, a laser procedure called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty can be effective. This procedure takes about five minutes and is performed at Vantage Surgery Center. After the procedure, patients may return home and resume normal activities immediately.

Advanced Glaucoma Surgery
Occasionally, glaucoma cannot be controlled by eyedrops or laser treatment. In these instances, an operation may be required to lower the eye pressure. Richard Kim, MD, the only glaucoma fellowship trained ophthalmologist in Monterey County, has performed hundreds of both the trabeculectomy and tube shunt surgeries for patients with glaucoma not responsive to drops or laser surgery. Furthermore, if a cataract is present, the cataract can be removed at the same time, thus avoiding a second surgery for these patients. He also have expertise in the new minimally invasive glaucoma surgical techniques, such as placement of the iStent, which offer patients control over their glaucoma while avoiding the potential complications of traditional surgeries.

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