Glaucoma Specialist

David Paikal, MD

Ophthalmologist located in Encino, CA

According to researchers, as many as 3 million Americans are living with glaucoma, a serious eye health issue that can lead to blindness. For those living in Encino, California, or the greater Los Angeles area, the services of ophthalmologist David Paikal, MD, are a valuable resource in diagnosing and managing glaucoma. Set up your visit with Dr. Paikal today by calling the office to speak with a team member.

Glaucoma Q & A

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye health condition characterized by excessive pressure within your inner eye. There are two primary types of glaucoma: 

Primary open-angle glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs gradually as your eyes fail to drain fluids properly. That causes pressure to build within your eye. This type of glaucoma represents around 90% of cases and doesn't always present clear symptoms, especially in the early stages.  

Angle-closure glaucoma

This type of glaucoma is considered an eye health emergency. It takes place when your iris is situated very near the drainage angle within your eye. That can lead to the iris completely blocking the drainage angle, preventing fluid from exiting your inner eye, and causing pressure to rise swiftly. Angle-closure glaucoma can develop slowly over time or occur very suddenly.   

If you notice the following symptoms, seek medical attention right away as you may have acute angle-closure glaucoma, which can lead to permanent vision loss:

  • Headache
  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Rainbow-colored halos or rings around lights

Prompt medical treatment can relieve excessive inner eye pressure, so be sure to listen to the messages your body sends and reach out for help as needed. 

Am I at risk for developing glaucoma?

Anyone can develop glaucoma, but certain factors elevate your risk level. These include:

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Corneas with a thin center
  • High eye pressure 
  • Age of 40 or older
  • African, Asian, or Hispanic heritage
  • Long-term use of steroid medications
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or migraines
  • Farsightedness or nearsightedness

Knowing your risk level helps you make informed decisions about how frequently to schedule professional eye exams.

How does glaucoma treatment work?

Eye drop medications work by reducing the amount of fluid your eye produces or increasing the volume of fluid that drains from your eyes. You must carefully follow your dosing instructions to achieve improvements. 

Laser surgery is an exciting treatment option that can improve drainage without the need for long-term use of eye drops. A procedure called trabeculoplasty improves your drainage angle to allow more fluid to drain from your inner eye. Another approach called iridotomy works by creating a tiny hole in your iris to improve fluid drainage. 

Another option involves implanting a tiny drainage tube into your eye to create a reservoir area beneath the membrane covering the white portion of your eye. This tube directs fluid to the reservoir, where it is absorbed by surrounding blood vessels.  

There is no cure for glaucoma, and treatments focus on controlling the disease and preventing further eye damage. Routine eye exams are essential, so call the office to schedule your next appointment today.