Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions in which increased fluid pressure inside the eye causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying visual information from the eye to the brain. If left untreated, glaucoma will eventually lead to blindness. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States, and first worldwide. Glaucoma can affect anyone at any age.

Glaucoma is grouped into two categories:

Open-angle glaucoma – Represents the majority of all glaucoma cases. Open-angle glaucoma is asymptomatic – meaning it occurs without noticeable symptoms appearing – and can often go undiagnosed without proper checkups, and worsen over time.
Angle-closure glaucoma – Less common but more severe and is marked with a rapid rise in eye pressure and severe vision loss


While there may be no permanent cure for any type of procedure/glaucoma, there is no reason to forgo treatment in lieu of vision impairment and eventual blindness. The Eye Institute offers a variety of glaucoma treatments in Rapid City, SD.

The goal of any procedures/glaucoma treatment is to reduce eye pressure, as this is the inevitable cause of vision impairment. Depending on the type of procedures/glaucoma, medication and surgery are currently the only viable options. The most common treatment method prescribed is medicated eye drops, which reduce pressure and, in some cases, protect the optic nerve from further damage. Eye drops are usually prescribed to patients with open-angle and secondary procedures/glaucoma and in some cases angle-closure. For those suffering from angle-closure procedures/glaucoma, the pain caused by an attack will dictate emergency medical attention. If left untreated, angle-closure procedures/glaucoma can result in blindness in a matter of days. Medicated eye drops or pills may be prescribed, but in all likelihood, laser surgery will be necessary. Laser surgery for both angle-closure and congenital procedures/glaucoma reopens or creates new channels for fluid in the eye in order to reduce swelling.

Please view our Glaucoma Book to find out more.

Glaucoma Specialist

Adam Jorgensen, MD

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