Dr. Shalu Pal

  • "If you want quality and wonderful service, please go to Dr. Shalu Pal! The patience, care, and true concern that Dr. Pal has for her clients is wonderful. "

    --Seleena J
  • " I was pleasantly surprised by finding a hidden gem within Dr. Pal's office"

    --Naveed
  • "Finally a doctor who is extremely knowledgeable, patient and explains things clearly. She is a wonderful human being who really takes the time to care for your needs. The office has a wonderful atmosphere and the staff are just as helpful as Dr. Pal. "

    --Mikail
  • "I couldn't ask for a better Optometrist. She is a delight to deal with, very patient, helpful and extremely knowledgeable. She was very good with my kids who can be very fussy at times.. And who could ask for a more beautiful location. Highly Recommend! "

    --Natalie M.
  • "My wife and I, highly recommend Dr. Pal. The staff, the service, the merchandise, are all top notch. They really make you feel welcomed. It has been several years since I have been able to see this well !!! You and your staff are the best !!!! "

    --Steve and Maria L.
  • "We barely go to optometrists so when we do, we should look for the best! I am super pleased I chose Dr. Pal\'s office. They were helpful from beginning to end, from booking on the phone to my actual visit. Dr. Pal was very detailed and went in-depth about my eye health. She is very patient and made me feel calm. The optician helped me pick a great pair of glasses, they were genuinely friendly which is a huge bonus."

    --Ahmad S
  • "I have been going to Dr. Pal for several years now. My most recent visit on June 6, 2016 was the best experience there that I have ever had. Firstly, the women on the desk were friendly and efficient - a very good prelude to my examination. Dr. Pal, herself, was, as usual, very thorough and encouraging in her examination. And she puts you at ease before we get into the eyes examination by discussing other things in life. That helps to ease any stress I may have. And they now have a man in the office who does that difficult examination (name of which I do not know!). He is so patient and encouraging and made the exam not so difficult for me this time. After all that, I saw Dr. Pal again before I left and she told me my eyes were good! Even had the news been not so good, I believe that I would be able to handle it because I truly believe that Dr. Pal and her staff would have taken good care of me. I will always go back to Dr. Pal and members of her team because I truly believe"

    --A. Howlett
  • " I have been to a few appointments at Dr. Pal\'s office over the last year for dry eye issues and every time it has been a very positive experience. The 3 receptionists at the front desk are warm and friendly. They are attentive and provide a very high level of customer service. I appreciate that they call me by name and remembered conversations we had at previous visits. I find Dr. Pal to be an excellent practitioner who is very thorough with her exams, has a lovely personality and takes the time to answer any and all questions that may arise. I am happy with the computer glasses I purchased and value the honest opinions I received from the staff when selecting frames. It was refreshing to have multiple opinions on styles and I felt they truly wanted me to walk out with a frame that was best suited to me. I highly recommend Dr. Pal \'s office! As a health care practitioner myself, I think all health care experiences should be this personilzed and friendly!"

    --A. Mclean
Glaucoma: Is it Possible to Prevent Vision Loss?


Contents

Glaucoma: Is it Possible to Prevent Vision Loss?

Introduction

According to a study done in 2004 at The Ohio State University, it might be, for certain individuals in certain circumstances.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases usually characterized by higher than normal pressures within the eye; the increased pressure can compress the retinal nerve fibers, particularly where they come together and form the head of the optic nerve, located in the back of the eye. The most common type of the condition, primary open-angle glaucoma, was the subject of the study.

Eyecare professionals have estimated that at least half of all glaucoma patients don’t know they have the disease, because it has no symptoms until quite advanced. Glaucoma causes damage to the peripheral vision first, and many people don’t notice that their field of view has gradually begun to shrink. The increased pressure within the eye almost never produces pain, for example, or noticeable vision changes in its early stages. If left untreated, however, it is one of the leading causes of functional blindness. The increased pressure damages and eventually causes the nerve fibers of the retina to become compressed and die; vision loss from glaucoma is permanent. For this reason, it is important to diagnose and begin treatment early in the disease process to prevent vision loss.

Glaucoma is a complex condition, however, and patients are not automatically classified as having glaucoma if the pressure in the eye higher than normal, if there is no other sign of disease or damage present.

This particular study targeted people of African descent, because their risk for developing early glaucoma is higher. In fact, people of African descent are three times as likely to acquire glaucoma, and generally the disease has an earlier onset in this population.

The Study

The study, published in Archives of Ophthalmology, enrolled about 1600 patients who had elevated "intraocular pressure (IOP)" readings, but no damage to the ocular tissues as measured by standardized testing equipment and visual inspection of the nerve head. The study group included 408 people of African descent.

Half of the subjects/patients were given commercially available, physician-prescribed eye drops used to lower IOP in the treatment of glaucoma and asked to use them each day. (Although the study was supported by Merck Research Laboratories, there was no restriction on the type or brand of eye drops prescribed for any individual.) The other half of the patients were given no eye drops or other medical treatment. Both groups were followed carefully for several years to assess any possible damage these higher IOPs may be causing.

Results

Patients enrolled in the study that were given pressure-lowering eye drops went on to develop glaucoma at a rate of about 8.5%, while those without medical intervention developed glaucomatous damage at just over 16%, almost twice as often. This effect was especially noticeable in the group of African-descent individuals.

This does not necessarily mean, however, that all people with moderately high IOPs or all people of African descent should automatically be placed on glaucoma medication. The most popular and useful pressure-lowering eye drops are considered to be safe and effective, but they are not without side effects or expense.

Dr. Eve Higginbotham, chair of the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Department of Ophthalmology, and a co-author of the study, said that extent of damage and the patient’s general health are among other factors to consider when contemplating treatment.

However, in practical terms, it does mean that everyone, regardless of ethnic background should have regular eye examinations. Many people have the idea that as long as their vision seems normal and they are experiencing no pain, headaches or other symptoms that they don’t need their eyes checked, but glaucoma is more insidious and sneakier than most other conditions or diseases. Only a qualified eyecare practitioner can diagnose and treat glaucoma.


 
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