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Glaucoma describes a group of diseases that damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying the visual information from the retina to the brain. Eye pressure is a major risk factor for damage caused by glaucoma; however, patients can have glaucoma without having high eye pressure and vice versa (patients with low or “normal” eye pressure may still develop glaucoma). Without treatment, glaucoma causes a slow, progressive loss of peripheral (side) vision which can lead to central vision loss in the later stages of the disease.

There are many different treatments for glaucoma, including eye drops, surgery and laser procedures. Even with treatment, some people with glaucoma do experience vision loss. The highest risks are in people with a family history of glaucoma, anyone over age 60, especially of Mexican-American descent, and African Americans over age 40.

It is common that patients notice the decrease in vision when the glaucoma becomes more advanced. Patients often complain of bumping into people, difficulty judging depth of curbs/steps and an overall dimming or darkening of the vision. In addition, patients with glaucoma have reduced night vision which starts even before the advanced stages of the disease. Because of the concerns in dim lighting, it is common for patients with early to moderate glaucoma to limit their driving to daytime activities. Having the proper glare control during the day can improve the vision and comfort when transitioning between different levels of lighting.

In the Vision Rehabilitation Service, we help people manage their glaucoma through contrast enhancement, glare control and lighting techniques, occupational therapy training to maximize the use of the residual visual field, and referrals for services such as orientation and mobility. Additionally, glasses, magnifiers and image minifiers may play a role in enhancing the function of patients with glaucoma.

Dr. Sheila West on the Link Between Smoking and Eye Disease in Women - 7/23/2014

Dr. Pradeep Ramulu and Colleagues Study Relationship Between Vision Loss and Work Status - 7/18/2014

Wilmer Resident Receives Lindstrom Research Grant - 7/11/2014

Four Wilmer Researchers Receive BrightFocus Foundation Awards - 7/10/2014

Dr. Michael Repka Part of Team Researching Telemedicine and ROP - 6/27/2014

Dr. M. Valeria Canto-Soler and Colleagues Featured on WBAL-TV - 6/24/2014

Dr. M. Valeria Canto-Soler and Colleagues Use Human Stem Cells to Create Light-Sensitive Retina in a Dish - 6/10/2014

Wilmer's Division of Ocular Immunology Announces "Living With Uveitis" Support Group - 6/10/2014

Dr. Neil Bressler to Speak on Diabetic Retinopathy at National Eye Health Summit and Webcast - 6/10/2014

Dr. Donald Zack Receives a Research to Prevent Blindness Nelson Trust Award for Retinitis Pigmentosa - 6/9/2014

Dr. Michael Boland Leads Study on Effectiveness of Automated Telecommunication-Based Reminders on Adherence to Glaucoma Medication Dosing - 6/4/2014

Dr. Christina Prescott Discusses Summer Eye Protection on Fox 45 News - 6/1/2014

Dr. Jonathan Song Discusses Treatment Options for Pediatric Cataracts - 5/23/2014

Johns Hopkins' Jordan Green Discusses His Work at Wilmer's Translational Tissue Engineering Center - 5/21/2014

Longtime Wilmer Employee Lillie Alston Honored by Hopkins - 5/19/2014

Dr. Richard Semba: Diets Rich in Antioxidant Resveratrol Fail to Reduce Deaths, Heart Disease or Cancer - 5/12/2014

Dr. Neil Miller Explains Eye Twitching in The Wall Street Journal - 5/12/2014

Dr. Hendrik Scholl Receives ARVO Award - 5/7/2014


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