Elevate your eye care with our expertise in glaucoma. Dr. Kevin Stewart, who previously served as an assistant director of the prestigious glaucoma clinic at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, brings his unmatched knowledge to the Caribbean. As the sole fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist in the Virgin Islands, he’s dedicated to your eye health.

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The Sneak Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve gradually and irreversibly. It results in slowly progressive blindness that usually starts at the periphery of the visual field and can lead to complete blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of irreversible blindness.

People at Risk of Developing Glaucoma

More than 12% of Caribbean adults have glaucoma, meaning it is more prevalent in this region than anywhere else in the world.  Additional groups of groups of people more prone to getting glaucoma include those over 40 years old, individuals with a family history of glaucoma, people with abnormally high intraocular pressure, and those of African American, Hispanic, or Asian American descent. Additionally, people with conditions such as diabetes, myopia (nearsightedness), a history of eye injury, and those with extremely high or low blood pressure may also be at higher risk.

Glaucoma appears to be more prevalent and aggressive among Caribbean populations. Therefore, it’s important to receive an early diagnosis and treatment because vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be reversed. Treatment is necessary to lower eye pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve.

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Treatment + Risks Associated

There are several options available for treating glaucoma, including eye drop medication, laser treatments, and surgery. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. Despite this, glaucoma surgery is considered relatively safe due to the use of anti-scarring agents and various postoperative techniques, which have led to fewer complications. Laser procedures typically result in fewer side effects compared to glaucoma medications. Furthermore, laser treatment poses no risk of infection, which can be a concern with surgical procedures. The most common complication associated with laser treatment is a temporary increase in intraocular pressure.

Expert Glaucoma Care: Meet Your Local Specialist

Dr. Kevin Stewart at Plessen Ophthalmology is only fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist in the USVI.  Dr. Stewart monitors and treats all types and stages of glaucoma, offering medications, laser treatments, and modern surgical techniques like aqueous shunts, trabeculectomies, and the newest Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgeries (MIGS), including canaloplasty, goniotomy, istent, endocyclophotocoagulation, and other new trabecular bypass surgeries.

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