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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a potentially blinding vision disorder. It is also highly treatable. However, if it is not treated, cells of the retina (called ganglion cells) are likely to degenerate in a progressive and predictable pattern, causing a person’s visual field to become narrower and narrower. This narrowing starts from the outside and moves toward the center. A common cause of degeneration of the ganglion cells is increased pressure within the eye. This increased “intraocular pressure” applies strain to the portions of the ganglion cells that form the optic nerve, resulting in the death of the cells.

The inside of the eye requires some amount of pressure to function properly. The pressure is provided and normalized through a steady flow of intraocular fluid into and out of the eye through tiny pores and channels. Glaucoma typically develops when these channels become blocked and fluid cannot escape. For many patients, medicines and laser or conventional surgical treatments can promote fluid drainage and prevent or slow damage to the ganglion cells and optic nerve. Early diagnosis is very important for preserving vision. Carrie Estelle Doheny’s own vision loss from glaucoma was her impetus for founding the Doheny Eye Institute.

Researchers at Doheny Eye Institute are identifying microscopic structures in the drainage system of the eye that prevent normal fluid outflow in glaucoma and studying ways of preventing vision loss in patients with glaucoma.

Researchers

Vikas Chopra, MD

Vikas Chopra, MD

Glaucoma

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