What Exactly is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the general name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve of the eye. Glaucoma prevents the eye from sending accurate visual information to the brain.

Usually associated with gradual (and sometimes sudden) increases in pressure within the eyeball itself, glaucoma can result in partial or total blindness over time. The damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, and it is currently the second-leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 40 in the United States.

It's often associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma tends to be inherited, and you should get yourself checked if others in your family have been diagnosed with this disorder. Over time, glaucoma will cause permanent loss of vision, and without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years.

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Do you need a glaucoma test?

What is a Glaucoma test? Glaucoma testing involves measuring internal eye pressure and a detailed scan of the retina for signs of disease.

  • Only a comprehensive eye exam can reveal whether or not you have glaucoma
  • Increased pressure inside the eye is often a key indicator of glaucoma, though not exclusively so
  • Eye doctors can use a number of tests for eye pressure but will, by default, check for signs of glaucoma as part of a detailed exam
  • An examination of the Optic nerve and surrounding retina will need to be performed including a detailed visual field, an OCT scan of the optic nerve, corneal thickness mapping, and potentially an evaluation of the drainage system of the eye

I Knew my Gran had Glaucoma, and I Kept saying it can't happen to me, but low and behold I had an early-stage, open-angle glaucoma... so I got immediate treatment for it, which my optometrist said should delay the progression of the disease. Disease at 44? Ack! But good news! All I have to do is put in my prescribed eye drops! Phew

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Early detection of Glaucoma is key to having a successful outcome. Glaucoma is a complex condition and many tests are used to screen for the disease. To monitor our patients for glaucoma we measure their eye pressures, their corneal thickness, and have them undergo a detailed optic nerve evaluation with our optometrists. If any risk factors are seen during the examination our doctors will order additional testing. At Vision Plus we have the most sensitive tests for detecting glaucoma early. Our OCT is able to give an objective measurement of the amount of nerve tissue inside the optic nerve head.

With Glaucoma, nerve tissue inside the optic nerve is damaged and lost over time. The OCT is essential for early detection and will pick up loss of nerve tissue quickly. The other additional test we perform is a visual field test. This assessment checks a patient's peripheral vision because this is the first place vision is lost during Glaucoma. Glaucoma does not have any initial symptoms and it is important to have annual eye exams to monitor for the disease. Book your glaucoma consultation today. BOOK NOW