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State of the Art Glaucoma Laser Eye Treatment Available at Howard Memorial Hospital

General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: August 24, 2009

Contact: Kristen Meadows
Public Relations Specialist
Howard Memorial Hospital
(707)-456-3127

Willits - Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital has been providing state of the art laser eye treatment for the past two years to glaucoma patients.

The new glaucoma laser treatment offered at Howard Memorial Hospital modifies the tissue of the eye to allow the aqueous fluid to flow out. "The great thing about this treatment is it's just as effective as the older laser, but the energy is a tiny fraction of that used with the old device, meaning less damage to the part of the eye where the fluid drains out," Geoffrey L. Rice, MD said. "This allows for repeat treatment as a possibility whereas with the older laser re-treatment was not advised."

Dr. Rice performs these laser surgeries every second Thursday of the month. He has been practicing ophthalmology for 24 years and has maintained his practice in Willits for ten years.

Glaucoma is a slow and chronic disease that causes degeneration of the optic nerve and is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to World Health Organization. Although intraocular pressure of the eye, or IOP, is clearly a risk factor, and other factors are involved because even people with "normal" levels of pressure can experience vision loss from glaucoma.

The first line of treatment for glaucoma patients are prescription eye drops designed to lower the IOP, to prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Surgery can help lower pressure when medication is not sufficient, however it cannot reverse vision loss.

There is currently no cure for glaucoma, however, vision loss can be preserved or prevented by medication or surgery. Because early detection is vital to stopping the progress of disease and the symptoms are not always evident to the patient, Dr. Rice recommends that everyone have his or her eyes checked regularly. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it.
 

- Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital has been providing state of the art laser eye treatment for the past two years to glaucoma patients.The new glaucoma laser treatment offered at Howard Memorial Hospital modifies the tissue of the eye to allow the aqueous fluid to flow out. "The great thing about this treatment is it's just as effective as the older laser, but the energy is a tiny fraction of that used with the old device, meaning less damage to the part of the eye where the fluid drains out," Geoffrey L. Rice, MD said. "This allows for repeat treatment as a possibility whereas with the older laser re-treatment was not advised."Dr. Rice performs these laser surgeries every second Thursday of the month. He has been practicing ophthalmology for 24 years and has maintained his practice in Willits for ten years.Glaucoma is a slow and chronic disease that causes degeneration of the optic nerve and is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to World Health Organization. Although intraocular pressure of the eye, or IOP, is clearly a risk factor, and other factors are involved because even people with "normal" levels of pressure can experience vision loss from glaucoma.The first line of treatment for glaucoma patients are prescription eye drops designed to lower the IOP, to prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Surgery can help lower pressure when medication is not sufficient, however it cannot reverse vision loss.There is currently no cure for glaucoma, however, vision loss can be preserved or prevented by medication or surgery. Because early detection is vital to stopping the progress of disease and the symptoms are not always evident to the patient, Dr. Rice recommends that everyone have his or her eyes checked regularly. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it.For more information, log onto and visit our or in your area.