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    Glaucoma - Early Detection is Critical

    Dr. Fiaz Zaman
    Houston Eye Associates
    Houston, TX

    Glaucoma mainly occurs in adults over the age of 40, but glaucoma can affect children also. Risk factors for glaucoma include a family history of the disease, African-American descent, highly myopic (near-sighted) patients, and diabetic patients.

    There are two main types of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma (the most common form) and angle closure glaucoma (5% of glaucoma cases).

    How do I know if I have glaucoma?
    Initially there are no symptoms in open angle glaucoma. The disease occurs slowly and no one really knows how fast it will progress. Many times patients first appear to the doctor after visual field loss has already occurred and now require constant medical attention to keep from losing the remaining visual field. Angle closure glaucoma is rare but is more noticeable. The pressure in the eye increases rapidly and causes severe eye pain, blurred vision, and headache.

    How often should I be checked for glaucoma?
    Yearly examinations with your ophthalmologist will be sufficient to check for glaucoma. If you have any risk factors for glaucoma your ophthalmologist will perform a work-up for glaucoma. The work-up includes checking your eye pressure with a tonometer, checking for damage to the optic nerve, and checking for damage to the drainage system in the eye.

    If I have glaucoma, how is it treated?
    Glaucoma is usually treated with medications (eye drops or tablets). They work by decreasing the eye pressure by either decreasing fluid production in the eye or increasing outflow of fluid from the eye. If medical management is not controlling the eye pressure other treatment options are available. They include laser surgery and intraocular filtration surgery. Your doctor will decide which treatment option is right for you.

    Glaucoma is a chronic disease and needs to be regarded as such. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and to take medication on time. Once diagnosed with glaucoma, patients will need life long care to keep good vision. It is important to understand that glaucoma can not be cured but it can be controlled, and patients can continue to have good vision.

    Houston Eye Associates - Dr. Fiaz Zaman

    Originally from Atchison, Kansas, he consistently earned academic honors in high school, college and medical school. He was valedictorian of his high school, graduated with honors while obtaining his Bachelor of Arts Degree in biology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and was inducted into the national medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha while attending medical school at the same university. After earning his medical school degree, Dr. Zaman performed an internship in internal medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill. He continued his ophthalmology training by serving his fellowship in Glaucoma and Anterior Segment Diseases at Houston Eye Associates under the direction of Robert H. Stewart, M.D. Dr. Stewart is one of the founders of Houston Eye Associates.

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