Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of sight because, in most cases, it progresses slowly and its symptoms go unnoticed. However, there is a less common form of the disease that can occur suddenly called neovascular glaucoma.
The board-certified ophthalmologists at Susskind & Almallah Eye Associates are trained to diagnose and provide appropriate therapies for all forms of glaucoma. Learn more about neovascular glaucoma below, including risk factors and potential treatment strategies.
What is Neovascular Glaucoma?
Neovascular glaucoma is a severe form of secondary glaucoma caused by other health conditions. It is also known as “90-day glaucoma,” since it develops nearly 90 days after an ischemic vascular event.
An ischemic vascular event occurs when there is a sudden deprivation of blood flow to the tissue of the eye. It can also refer to a decline in the speed at which blood and oxygen are delivered to the area. These events can include:
- Blockage of a retinal artery
- Carotid artery disease
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Retinal detachment
Ischemic vascular events are problematic because they prompt uncontrolled and abnormal blood vessel growth. These blood vessels can obstruct the drainage angle of the eye and cause it to close. As a result, eye pressure rises quickly. This is considered a medical emergency, often characterized by blurred vision, redness, and pain. Unfortunately, blindness can occur without prompt treatment.
Unlike the much more common open-angle glaucoma, closed-angle glaucoma can develop very quickly. The entire process takes approximately three months on average. Keep in mind that it is possible to be free of symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
Risk Factors for 90-Day Glaucoma
Neovascular glaucoma typically affects older adults. People at an increased risk for developing this eye disease also tend to have one or more of the following health conditions:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Preventing Neovascular Glaucoma
When it comes to preventing neovascular glaucoma, it is important to focus on the underlying health issues that often cause the disease. Visit your primary care physician for help managing the cardiovascular conditions known to increase neovascular glaucoma risk.
Meanwhile, work with our ophthalmologists to stay informed about your visual health. This is particularly crucial if you have a high-risk factor. Our doctors will monitor your eyes for any changes or concerns during your routine comprehensive eye exams.
90-Day Glaucoma Treatment
Currently, there is no cure for neovascular glaucoma. However, quick intervention is still necessary to minimize the disease’s impact on your vision and prevent blindness.
Often, the first step is to reduce eye pressure and inflammation. Then, pan-retinal photocoagulation (PRP) may be used to laser the peripheral retina and prevent new blood vessel growth. This intervention may lead to decreased peripheral vision, though it generally preserves central vision. There are also other emerging therapies, including drugs to help combat abnormal cell growth and inflammation.
A comprehensive plan also includes addressing the root cause of neovascular glaucoma. This may involve working with your doctor to control your diabetes, high cholesterol, or other cardiovascular problem.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Our talented eye care team is ready to answer your questions and offer you individualized recommendations. Call Susskind & Almallah Eye Associates at 732-349-5622 today to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced eye doctors. We proudly serve Toms River, Brick, Manchester, Barnegat, Marlboro, and other areas throughout New Jersey.