Health Chats
Friday Sep 24, 2010, 12:00PM - 01:00PM (EST)
Staff, Gluacoma Department, Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute/Director, Glaucoma Fellowship Program, Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute
Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute
Ophthalmology - Glaucoma, Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute’s fully integrated model helps us provide patients with quick and easy access to specialty and sub-specialty care for a wide spectrum of eye conditions – from the routine to the complex. Each year, our internationally recognized staff carries out more than 160,000 patient visits and performs more than 6,000 surgeries. Our glaucoma staff specializes in the diagnosis and the medical and surgical management of primary, secondary and complicated glaucoma in patients of all ages. The Cole Eye Institute staff’s clinical expertise includes:<br/><br/> • Cornea and External Diseases<br/><br/> • Vitreoretinal<br/><br/> • Glaucoma<br/><br/> • Neuro-Ophthalmology<br/><br/> • Pediatrics and Adult Strabismus<br/><br/> • Oculoplastics<br/><br/> • Oncology/Eye Tumors<br/><br/> • Uveitis<br/><br/> • Laser Vision Correction Surgery<br/><br/> Edward J. Rockwood, MD is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and Director of the Glaucoma Fellowship Program. He received his undergraduate education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduating with a BS in biology. He continued with medical school at State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Science. Dr. Rockwood next completed his residency in ophthalmology at Cleveland Clinic, followed by a clinical and research fellowship in glaucoma at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Since 1986, he has been a staff physician in the Glaucoma Department at the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute. Dr. Rockwood has been listed in Best Doctors in America from 2003 to present.<br/><br/> The focus of this Health Chat will be on Glaucoma.<br/><br/> Glaucoma is a condition characterized by increased pressure in the eye and impaired eyesight, ranging from slight vision loss to total blindness. Glaucoma is not a single disease, but a group of eye diseases that have one feature in common: progressive damage to the optic nerve caused by increased pressure within the eyeball. The pressure comes from a clear fluid called the aqueous humor. This fluid helps to nourish the eye, and flows in and out of the eye through a mesh-like channel.<br/><br/> In people with glaucoma, the fluid does not drain properly and pressure builds up in the eye, damaging the nerve that transmits images to the brain. As this deterioration of the optic nerve continues, vision worsens, and eventually, blindness can result.<br/><br/>
Welcome to the Glaucoma Health Chat!
A special Thank You to Dr. Rockwood and all members for joining us here today!
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
It's great to be here today.
I was at risk for glaucoma before I was diagnosed with diabetes, and I was wondering what my chances are of developing it?  Also my peripheral vision has been very poor as of late...
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
The biggest risk factors for glaucoma is a family history or if you yourself have been found to have high eye pressure.  
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Diabetes poses a relatively minor risk for glaucoma.  However all diabetics should have a dilated retinal exam to check for diabetic retinopathy at least annually.
What is glaucoma and when do you need an operation?
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Glaucoma is a condition with high fluid pressure in the eye.  This can cause permanent slow loss of vision.  We can treat it with eye drops, laser and surgery.  Most people are managed with eye drops alone.  Some people with more severe glaucoma may need surgery.
I have had surgery in both eyes for glaucoma and cataracts as a result I have droopy eyelids on both eyes. If I have surgery to correct this problem will it adversely affect in any way my eyes especially my glaucoma? I would not want to do anything to cause my sight to be affected.
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Droopy eyelids can be treated with surgery in people with glaucoma.
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Surgeons doing eyelid surgery generally know not to overcorrect the lid in patients who have had glaucoma surgery.
I have serious glaucoma.  I cannot find a eye drop that I can tolerate.  Do you have any suggestions?
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
If drops are not working or tolerated laser or surgery may be needed for glaucoma.
I have had a trab surgery or both eyes and left eye has developed a fluid bubble. What can be done to alleviate this bubble and what is the likelihood it will return?
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Glaucoma surgery creates a new channel to drain the eye fluid.  This may create a fluid collection called a filtering bleb sometimes this can be seen or felt.
Are severely myopic people more prone to other eye diseases like glaucoma?
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Myopic people are at increased risk for both retinal detachment and glaucoma.
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Myopia is nearsightedness.
My eye specialist has stated that I may be developing glaucoma. Can it be avoided? Are there things I could do now to delay or prevent it from occurring?
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
At this time there is no genetic treatment for glaucoma.  If diagnosed we treat with drops, laser or surgery.  
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Glaucoma cannot be prevented.
I lost my vision from glaucoma, is there anything that can be done to cure my blindness?  
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Glaucoma treatment can prevent further loss of vision.  However vision loss from glaucoma is permanent.
Carol 1:
I have both glaucoma and cataracts.  Can both of these eye problems be treated at the same time, or do I have to work on one first?  If so, which one should be treated first?
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Both cataract and glaucoma can be treated with surgery for both, done at the same time.
Does glaucoma cause headache or being dizzy??
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Glaucoma does not cause dizzyness.  It can cause headaches if the eye pressure is very high,
Is Glaucoma hereditary?  My mom developed it without warning in her 70's. I always have it checked at my eye exams, and all was normal, but was wondering.  Also, is it considered "autoimmune" ?
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
With a family history of glaucoma, you should have regular evaluations to check your eye pressure.
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
Glaucoma is not autoimmune.
Is there any treatment that can be done once eyesight is lost due to Glaucoma?
Dr. Edward Rockwood:
While we cannot recover vision lost from glaucoma, it is important to have a full eye evaluation to check for other causes of treatable visual loss.  Such as cataract, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.