Glaucoma is a condition that damages the eye's optic nerve over time. It is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma occurs when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises and damages the optic nerve, although that pressure is not always the cause of the damage. Many times the eye fluid, or aqueous humor, isn't circulating normally in the front of the eye, thereby creating pressure. Other causes of glaucoma include a blunt or chemical eye injury, severe eye infection, inflammatory conditions of the eye, and blockage of blood vessels in the eye. Without treatment, those with glaucoma slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision and in time may lose all vision.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is nationally known for excellence in both patient care and research for those suffering from glaucoma. Home to one of the largest groups of glaucoma specialists in Birmingham and Alabama, UAB also boasts the world’s largest group of ocular biomechanics specialists, who are focused on developing new treatments and cures for glaucoma.
Ophthalmology care at UAB is located at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, one of the busiest eye hospitals in the country, where specialists work together to treat complex cases. Its surgical suite houses nine operating rooms dedicated to eye surgery as well as a 24/7 eye emergency room, which is the region’s only Level I ocular trauma center. More than 11,000 surgeries are performed at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital each year, and we conduct more reconstructive eye surgeries than any other facility anywhere. Callahan Eye Hospital pioneered surgical instrumentation, devices, and procedures that are now used by ophthalmologists all over the world. The hospital has won numerous awards for both patient and employee satisfaction, so you know you will be accorded a consistently high level of care.
Through ongoing research and clinical trials, UAB continues to make great strides in the field of ophthalmology. Many UAB ophthalmologists have received funding from prestigious research organizations and institutions and collaborate in clinical care to deliver the latest in scientific discovery to our patients. In addition to our physicians, we have a team of vision scientists who are fully dedicated to researching causes, preventions, and cures for eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. UAB Medicine faculty physicians work closely with vision scientists to develop state-of-the-art technologies and groundbreaking treatments to improve your eye health. We don’t just treat eye disease – we help our patients learn to adapt to changes in their vision by providing comprehensive care and rehabilitation services.
Improving the detection of glaucoma
Glaucoma is a silent disease. It does not hurt, symptoms are slow to develop, and most people do not notice any loss of vision until it is too late. A project by ophthalmologists at UAB are examining whether a partnership with community-based optometrists will improve detection and treatment of glaucoma, especially for high-risk populations.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for glaucoma. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials