Glaucoma

David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS -  - Ophthalmologist

David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS

Ophthalmologist located in Reston, VA & Vienna, VA

Glaucoma is the second-most common cause of blindness worldwide, but if you’re careful about your eye health, it doesn’t have to steal your sight. Caring and skilled ophthalmologist, David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS, offers top-quality glaucoma care from prescription medicine to delay its progression to pre- and post-surgery care. To learn more about glaucoma diagnosis and care, book an appointment online or call either office in Reston and Vienna, Virginia, today.

Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which your eye's primary nerve, the optic nerve, progressively grows more damaged. This damage, called cupping, often occurs along with high intraocular pressure.

If glaucoma isn't diagnosed and treated, it may progress from peripheral vision loss to central vision loss or even blindness.

There are many different types and subtypes of glaucoma, with open-angle glaucoma being by far the most common. In open-angle glaucoma, your intraocular fluid moves at too slow a rate, which causes it to accumulate and pressure your optic nerve.

In a much rarer form of glaucoma, acute angle-closure glaucoma, intraocular pressure suddenly spikes because a part of your eye's drainage network is blocked.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

In the early stages of open-angle glaucoma, symptoms are rare. In fact, many patients learn about their glaucoma through a regular comprehensive eye exam, which is an excellent reason to have your exams regularly as Dr. Chow recommends.

In the later stages of open-angle glaucoma, peripheral vision loss is common. In rare instances, open-angle glaucoma sufferers can experience hazy vision and halo glare around lights.

With acute angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms start suddenly and are quite severe. Severe eye pain, stabbing headaches, blurry vision, and vomiting are common in acute angle-closure glaucoma, which is why it's a medical emergency that you should seek immediate care for.

How is glaucoma treated?

Dr. Chow treats glaucoma based on your situation and needs. Although there’s no cure for glaucoma, prescription medicine can greatly slow its development. With treatment, most glaucoma sufferers are able to retain their vision.

Most glaucoma treatments are in eyedrop form, but some are pills. There are many different types, including:

  • Prostaglandin analogs: improve your eye fluid drainage
  • Beta blockers: decrease the level of intraocular fluid in your eyes
  • Alpha agonists: improve drainage while also decreasing intraocular fluid
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors: reduce intraocular fluid
  • Rho kinase inhibitors: increase intraocular fluid drainage

If your glaucoma progresses even with medication, you may need surgery to improve eye drainage or correct blockages.

Dr. Chow works with leading glaucoma surgeons in the area, and he’ll refer you to a trusted colleague for surgery. Before and after surgery, Dr. Chow manages all your eye care needs.

To get glaucoma diagnosis and treatment from a caring and committed physician, call David K. Chow, MD, or schedule a consultation online today.