An annual eye exam is all it takes to reduce your chances of developing vision loss due to glaucoma. This common eye disorder is defined by a loss of peripheral vision, but presents without any pain. It is such a gradual disorder you can adjust to these vision changes without even noticing them. Having your eyes regularly examined is the only way to recognize the signs.
The primary sign of developing glaucoma is your intraocular pressure (IOP). High eye pressure puts stress on the optic nerve, causing irreparable damage. This ocular hypertension can be discovered in a number of ways, such as non-contact tonometry and applanation tonometry.
You may know this better as the air puff test. Without touching your eyeball, the optometrist’s staff use air to flatten the cornea. If your eyes have higher than normal pressure it will take a stronger puff to push the cornea. This test is not definitive of glaucoma, but rather a very good indicator of high IOP.
This test is more accurate than non-contact tonometry. In this test the actual force necessary to flatten the cornea is measured. This gives our optometrist a measurement of how high your IOP is, and how high the possibility of glaucoma is.
Glaucoma has three variations, some more severe than others. In all cases, vision loss associated with this disease can be mitigated if found early with regular eye exams.
When the angle between the cornea and iris is suddenly shut the fluid in the eye cannot drain properly, leading to a surge of pressure in the eye and a great deal of damage to the optic nerve. It also comes with headaches, nausea, and vomiting, plus blurred vision and red eyes.
This type of glaucoma is the very severe and requires immediate medical attention.
The only symptom of open-angle glaucoma is a gradual loss of peripheral vision. Often referred as the “silent thief of sight,” vision loss is usually grievous before it is noticed, at which point it is too late to do anything to reverse the damage.
This form of glaucoma occurs when the drainage canals slowly become blocked, resulting in elevated pressure causing persistent damage to the optic nerve. Lowering your alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, and eating healthy are your best defences against open-angle glaucoma. Regardless, it may still occur and the only way to detect it is through an eye exam. Fortunately, vision loss can be prevented with treatment.
Normal tension glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve shows signs of damage without any increase in IOP. The eyes are draining fine and the intraocular pressure is within normal limits, yet the eyes continue to deteriorate.
There is no cure for glaucoma but many ways to treat it. Eye drops and oral medication are available. Laser surgery may be required if the eyes do not respond to medication.
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|Tuesday:||8:00 AM - 5:00 PM|
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|Friday:||8:00 AM - 5:00 PM|
|Saturday:||9:00 AM - 3:00 PM|