David R. Benson, M.D., O.D.

David R. Benson, M.D., O.D., Eye Physicians of Lakewood

Caring for you, not just your eyes

Telephone: 253-584-1777

Eye Services

Dr. Benson's practice emphasis is on treatment of glaucoma, diabetic eye dises, macular degeneration, dry eye, and other eye problems in addition to providing quality eye care to all ages.

Eye Care Services at Eye Physicians of Lakewood

Meet Dr. Benson

Dr. Benson is both types of eye doctors: Optometrist AND Ophthalmologist. Practicing with the motto, "Caring for you, not just your eyes," he has been attending to his patients for more than 25 years.

Meet Dr. Benson at Eye Physicians of Lakewood

Frequently Asked

What is an ophthalmologist?
Why should I see an ophthalmologist?
How often should I see an ophthalmologist?
Get these answers and more.

FAQs about Eye Care at Eye Physicians of Lakewood


The Sneak Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is one of the four leading causes of vision loss in America. It is a silent, painless, insidious disease that causes (usually) gradual loss of vision. Since there are no symptoms in the early stages, only your eye doctor can detect it.

Most glaucoma’s can be controlled but existing vision loss cannot be restored. Recently we have had many advances in treatment and even detection and diagnosis of the disease.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease where the pressure in the eye is too great for the health of the eye. The eye pressure, like the blood pressure, must be maintained within a certain range or damage will occur. Fluid is produced behind the iris (the colored part of the eye) and normally flows forward to drain out through a small area located where the iris meets the white part of the eye, called the angle. If the fluid cannot reach the angle, or if this area is faulty, the pressure will rise. At some point, the pressure in the eye exceeds what is healthy for it and irreversible damage to sight will begin. There is usually no pain and the patient cannot appreciate the early glaucomatous damage by himself.

Vision requires that light be detected and signaled to the brain via neurons (nerve fibers). All of these neurons on the back of the eye join together to make one large optic nerve. There are over one million neurons in each optic nerve. Many of these neurons serve areas in the peripheral vision. This is where glaucoma strikes first. Once glaucoma kills a neuron, it is dead forever. Since our detail vision is only in the very center, our brain simply ignores the early peripheral loss. It is not until the disease is far advanced that one can self-detect glaucomatous damage. That central fine vision is about the last to go.

Glaucoma affects 2% of the overall population but it increases sharply with age. It is more prevalent in blacks, runs in families and can be made worse with certain medications


Though there are several different types of glaucoma. It is useful to divide them into open or closed angle. If the fluid can reach the angle, but not drain properly, it is open angle. This accounts for 95% of the glaucoma’s and is usually totally painless and symptomless until blindness ensues. Closed angle can occur quickly, has higher pressures and may cause pain (usually in the eyebrow), nausea or colored rainbows around lights. An angle closure attack is an emergency and should be treated with drops or surgery right away. It can be difficult for a non-ophthalmologist to diagnose.


Only an eye doctor can detect glaucoma in the early stages. Sometimes your doctor may feel that you are at imminent risk for an angle closure attack and wish to do testing or treatment for this. The main tests for glaucoma include a pressure check, the eye doctor looking inside the eye, photographs, mapping out the visual field and a test called gonioscopy where the doctor looks angle. An exciting advancement using a scanning laser that does not harm the eye and a computer is likely to aid us in diagnosing and treating glaucoma. This HRT scanning laser is available at our office.


If the pressure needs to be lowered, drops (and sometimes pills), lasers or surgery will be necessary. Treatment and/or exams should be continued, usually for life. Fortunately, loss of vision is largely preventable with proper treatment.