A glaucoma expert witness provides testimony regarding a potentially serious condition of the eye that can cause permanent loss of vision.
Glaucoma is an ocular condition of multifactorial origin with the defining hallmark as pressure in the eye that is higher than the optic nerve is able to tolerate. Elevated pressure inside the eye causes the ganglion cells that compose the retina and optic nerve to become thin and atrophy. Progressive thinning and atrophy of the cells that are responsible for vision usually occurs gradually, over a period of months to years.
Many types of instruments may be used to diagnose glaucoma. Pachymetry, a measurement of corneal thickness, may be helpful when assessing individual risk for developing glaucoma. Family history of glaucoma and other eye problems may also be relevant when diagnosing glaucoma.
Vision is gradually lost in the presence of elevated eye pressure. Many individuals with glaucoma may not notice a problem with their visual field until there is significant loss of vision. Unfortunately, loss of vision from glaucoma tends to be permanent.
Characteristic defects of peripheral vision may be detected on a visual field test. Isolated blind spots known as “scotomas” are often found in the peripheral vision of an individual afflicted with glaucoma. Visual field loss in glaucoma is variable, but usually spares the central (straight ahead) portion until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. Glaucoma expert witness testimony may help understand the sequence of events that causes loss of vision.
Treatment for glaucoma is directed at lowering intraocular pressure or preventing a sudden rise of intraocular pressure. Expert glaucoma treatment may consist of eye drops, laser application, or various forms of surgery. Each type of treatment for glaucoma has its inherent individual risks and potential for complications. Glaucoma expert testimony by an ocular expert is often useful when addressing issues of proper and effective treatment.
A glaucoma expert witness is qualified to describe methods for monitoring this serious condition. Instruments used for monitoring glaucoma include devices for measuring eye pressure, visual field perimeter machines, photography that analyzes the appearance of the optic nerve, and optical coherence tomography of the retina and optic nerve. Fortunately, these instruments are typicaly available in offices of ocular experts who diagnose and manage patients with glaucoma. Routine testing for glaucoma is non-invasive and well tolerated by most patients.
Testimony by a glaucoma expert witness may be useful in cases where issues revolve around ocular trauma, standard of care, delayed diagnosis, devices used for diagnosis and treatment for glaucoma, and adverse reactions to glaucoma therapy. A qualified board certified ocular expert can provide analysis regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of this serious condition.
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