Glaucoma And Plaquenil Retinal Examination Specialist

David R. Frazee, OD -  - Therapeutic Optometrist and Optometric Glaucoma Specialist

David R. Frazee, OD

Therapeutic Optometrist and Optometric Glaucoma Specialist located in Richardson, TX

Glaucoma is a term that refers to a group of diseases that cause damage to your optic nerve, possibly causing serious vision loss and even blindness. While there's no cure for it, there are treatment options that can delay the progression of the disease. Fortunately, Dr. David R. Frazee specializes in this condition. With the fast and simple online scheduling tool offered by Dr. David R. Frazee, OD, it is possible for people from in and around Richardson, Texas, to receive screening and treatment for glaucoma.

Glaucoma and Plaquenil Retinal Examination Q & A

by David R. Frazee, OD

What exactly is glaucoma?

Glaucoma disorders are associated with increased pressure within your eye that can ultimately damage your optic nerve.

The liquid in the front portion of your eyes needs to circulate, and when that circulation is blocked or impeded, then pressure builds. Your optic nerve is responsible for the transmission of visual data to your brain, and when damaged can cause permanent loss of vision.

Researchers believe that there is a genetic component to glaucoma, and if you have a family history of the disease, Dr. Frazee recommends that you have regular screenings to look for signs of the disorder as you age.

Those who are over the age of 40, have diabetes, or are at risk for other types of diseases of the eye may need more frequent screening.

How is glaucoma treated?

Currently, there is no known cure for glaucoma, but there are ways that Dr. Frazee can treat the disease and slow the progression of vision loss.

Certain prescription eye drops can help reduce fluid formation, which also reduces pressure on your optic nerves. These medications can have serious side effects, so it is important to discuss your health history and current medications with Dr. Frazee to get the best results.

Laser surgery is another option for some patients and can improve the flow of fluid within your eyes.

Various surgical procedures address different areas of the eyes, and some approaches include the placement of tiny tubes to help your eyes drain properly. Very often, Dr. Frazee uses a combination of treatments and techniques to control glaucoma.  

What is Plaquenil™ and how does it impact eye health?

Plaquenil is a powerful drug that is used to prevent and treat malaria. People who travel to areas of the world where malaria poses a significant health risk may take Plaquenil to reduce their risk of contracting the disease. Plaquenil is also sometimes prescribed to treat lupus and arthritis.

Unfortunately, it has also been found to cause retinal toxicity in some users. Even if you stop taking the drug, the damage may already be done, and irreversible vision loss can occur.

Before you begin taking Plaquenil, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive eye exam to look for signs of maculopathy, which would make you a poor candidate for this medication.

Signs of advanced retinal toxicity include changes in the pigment of your retina, leading to a distinct “bulls-eye” appearance. In the earlier stages, it can be difficult to detect, which is why men and women who have taken the drug should have Dr. Frazee conduct regular Plaquenil retinal examinations.