The WVU Eye Institute provides access to the largest group of glaucoma specialists in the state of West Virginia.

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We offer the most advanced tools to diagnose, monitor, and support patients undergoing glaucoma treatment.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of conditions affecting the optic nerve, a cable-like bundle of fibers that connects the eye to the brain and makes it possible for you to see. 

The optic nerve “cable” is made of retinal nerve fibers. In patients with glaucoma, these retinal nerve fibers of the optic nerve become damaged. Glaucoma typically causes no symptoms until advanced vision loss occurs. The nerve becomes thinner and thinner over time, leading to vision loss.

Glaucoma Symptoms

Glaucoma is often referred to as “the silent thief of sight” because most patients won’t have any symptoms in the early stages. In later stages, patients may have significant loss of their visual field. There are some less common, rapidly occurring types of glaucoma (acute glaucoma) that may cause symptoms, including:

  • Eye pain
  • Emergent vision loss
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye redness
  • Headache

What Causes Glaucoma?

There is no single cause of glaucoma. In a small percentage of patients, there may be types of glaucoma that have a direct genetic basis for disease. There are other types of glaucoma associated with medications or diseases such as advanced diabetes. 

Most glaucoma types, however, are likely due to a combination of many different variables—with increasing age being the greatest risk factor.

Glaucoma Treatments and Services

At the WVU Eye Institute, we are the only tertiary referral center for glaucoma in the state of West Virginia. Our specialists are trained in identifying multiple types of glaucoma and providing individualized, low-risk treatments based on each patient’s needs. 

Diagnosing Glaucoma

After evaluation, our specialists can diagnose a full spectrum of primary and secondary glaucoma types, including:

  • Primary open angle glaucoma
  • Pigmentary glaucoma
  • Psuedoexfoliation glaucoma
  • Neovascular glaucoma
  • Uveitic glaucoma
  • Acute angle closure glaucoma
  • Congenital glaucoma

Glaucoma Treatment

WVU Eye Institute glaucoma specialists offer a full range of medical, laser, and surgical treatments. Surgical treatment of glaucoma has expanded greatly over the past decade and has allowed our glaucoma specialists to tailor disease treatments based on individual patient needs to minimize risk and optimize outcomes. We offer nearly all types of minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS) as well as more traditional trabeculectomy and tube shunt surgeries for more advanced cases.

Funding Visual Science Research

Making untreatable vision problems treatable: WVU receives $11M for visual sciences research center

Latest News

A clinical trial conducted by the WVU Eye Institute for the use of EYELEA, an injection medication, has led to FDA approval for the treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

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Clinical Research

The experts at the WVU Eye Institute conduct ongoing clinical trials and research studies.

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Academic Programs

Learn more about the WVU School of Medicine Department of Opthalmology and Visual Sciences.

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Make an appointment: Call 855-WVU-CARE, or schedule online.

Our Providers

Kevin Halenda, MD

Associate Professor

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Brian McMillan, MD

Associate Professor

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Joel Palko, MD

Associate Professor

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WVU Eye Institute Main Campus

1 Medical Center Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506

United Hospital Center

527 Medical Park Drive
Bridgeport, WV 26330

St. Joseph's Hospital

10 Amalia Drive, Building B
Buckhannon, WV 26201

Summersville Regional Medical Center

702 Professional Park Drive
Summersville, WV 26651

Waynesburg Clinic

451 Murtha Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

Wheeling Hospital

1 Medical Park Road
Wheeling, WV 26003

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call
855-WVU-CARE or schedule online.