Glaucoma often progresses slowly without symptoms, making it difficult to detect its gradual effects of vision loss and blindness. At Eye Consultants of Atlanta, our experts, including Dr. Matthew Floyd, a board-certified ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon, specialize in the early detection and treatment of glaucoma.

Dr. Floyd earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and fulfilled his Ophthalmology residency at the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta. As a Comprehensive Ophthalmologist, he emphasizes the importance of annual eye exams, as they can be the determining factor for detecting and halting the progression of vision-threatening eye diseases, such as glaucoma.

“Glaucoma is often asymptomatic until its more severe stages, and the damage caused is irreversible,” Dr. Floyd explains. “Whenever glaucoma is at the end stage, your options as a patient can be limited to surgical or heroic interventions to preserve, but not improve, vision. That’s why routine eye care is so important. Annual exams are the best way to detect glaucoma in its early stages.”

As a leading cause of blindness, especially in those ages 55 and older, glaucoma encompasses a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, which transmits information from the eye to the brain. This damage causes loss of peripheral vision that then progresses into central visual loss. Dr. Floyd recommends initial screening for glaucoma between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. During these visits, you should talk with your Comprehensive Ophthalmologist about your risks of the disease. Since it can be hereditary, Dr. Floyd shares that many glaucoma cases can be detected early by simply asking patients, “Do you have a family member with glaucoma?”

Dr. Floyd further suggests that you should receive at least three eye exams throughout your 40s, increasing to five or more eye exams throughout your 50s. Annual eye exams should then take place after age 55.

Although the diagnosis of glaucoma can be unsettling, treatment options are readily available. Early treatment is essential in preventing further, more serious damage. Treatment options include medicines or laser surgery to reduce pressure in the eye and traditional surgical approaches to drain pressure from the eye. These treatments are customized to fit the needs and desires of each patient.

Dr. Floyd and his team recently treated an asymptomatic patient in his late 40s with abnormally high eye pressure. A routine eye exam detected an uncommon condition called pigmentary dispersion glaucoma. “His pressure was very high, and he was at a high risk of losing vision permanently, with possible progression to blindness,” Dr. Floyd recalls. “That routine eye exam and routine eye care was integral to early detection and management. With his current treatment plan, he’ll hopefully be administering just one, maybe two (prescription eye) drops a day. This will likely slow if not halt the progression of his glaucoma. Early detection is key to preserving sight.”

Eye Consultants of Atlanta has been dedicated to improving your vision since 1971. From comprehensive eye exams to complex surgeries, our acclaimed staff is committed to meeting all your ophthalmological care needs. To schedule an appointment, call 404-351-2220 or schedule an appointment online.