WE KNOW that glaucoma, a slowly progressive optic neuropathy,1 causes irreversible loss of vision. It is a major cause of blindness in the United States and worldwide. Some patients with glaucoma have severe vision loss at diagnosis; others develop it later, during the course of the disease. While many patients with glaucoma have normal or near-normal intraocular pressure (IOP) during their initial eye examination, others have elevated IOPs. Those with elevated IOPs are more likely to have glaucomatous optic nerve damage.2 Treatment for glaucoma is directed toward reducing IOP3; there is evidence this works,4- 6 but it is not always successful.7 Knowledge is sparse about past or current community practice patterns and the long-term outcomes of glaucoma management.
Gaasterland DE. Glaucoma Care in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1965-1980Filtering Surgery and Vision Outcomes. Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(9):1236-1237. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.9.1236