November 30, 2018


Worldwide, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness, but many people living with the disease don’t realize that they have it.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. It is usually linked to a build up in pressure within the eye, and tends to be inherited. There are two main types:

  • Open-angle glaucoma- This is the most common type, and may be called wide-angle glaucoma. With this type, the drain structure in the eye looks functional, but doesn’t work the way that it should.
  • Angle-closure glaucoma- This type is less common in the West, but is common in Asia. With this type, the eye doesn’t drain right because the drain space between the iris and cornea becomes too narrow.

If left untreated, the pressure in the eye can build up and cause severe vision damage.

Glaucoma Symptoms

Most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain. After the age of 20, regular eye exams are crucial for checking and monitoring your eyes for signs of glaucoma. Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral vision. As glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye. They seem to be looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains.

Who is most at risk?

While anyone over the age of 40 is at risk for developing glaucoma, there are several factors that can increase your chances of developing this condition, including:

  • A family history of glaucoma
  • Being of African, Asian or Hispanic heritage
  • High eye pressure
  • Being farsighted or nearsighted
  • Previous eye injury
  • Long-term steroid use
  • Corneas that are thin in the center
  • Thinning optic nerves
  • Diabetes
  • Migraines
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor blood circulation

Glaucoma Treatment

Although glaucoma is not curable, it is treatable. Glaucoma treatment is highly effective and can slow down or stop the progression of the disease. With early diagnosis and treatment, most people with glaucoma can retain their vision long-term.

There are a variety of treatments available to help relieve the intraocular pressure. There are drops that are used one or several times of day, depending on the prescription. Laser surgery can also be used alone or in combination with drops to help lower the eye pressure. In cases where drops of laser cannot get to the eye pressure low enough, surgery may be necessary and usually can be performed as an outpatient procedure.

At Piedmont Eye Center, Dr. Ceballos and Dr. Paauw are Lynchburg’s only glaucoma trained specialists who can provide this level of specialized care. If it has been more than a year since your last eye exam, book an appointment with us to be screen for this and other eye conditions.

What Our Patients Think

  • Riley Hart /
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    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
  • Bryan Mitchell outside of a football stadium
    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
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    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
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    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
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    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
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