What is Glaucoma exactly?
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. Furthermore, glaucoma often has little or no perceivable symptoms, and patients diagnosed with glaucoma usually report that they did not feel or notice anything different about their vision at all.
Recent technological advances in retinal scanning and glacuoma screenings have made earlier and earlier detection of glaucoma possible. This advanced technology allows your eye doctor to measure your inner eye pressure (known as tonometry), inspect the drainage angle of your eye (known as gonioscopy), evaluate your optic nerve (known as ophthalmolscopy) and test the visual field of each eye (known as perimetry). Each of these tests measures for certain indications that allow your eye doctor to detect glaucoma early and begin treatment, such as prescribing special eye drops meant to treat the inner eye pressure that characterizes glaucoma, which are often the first line of defense against glaucoma if these indications present themselves.
Are you at high risk for Glaucoma?
- If you are over the age of 40 and if you have a family history of glaucoma.
- GRF recommends that African-Americans get a thorough check for glaucoma every one to two years after age 35.
- Talk to family members about glaucoma. If family members have glaucoma, then your glaucoma risk is increased.
- If you have diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Hispanic Americans in older age groups are also at greater risk for glaucoma.
- Steroid Users - adults who require approximately 14 to 35 puffs of steroid inhaler to control asthma have an increased incidence of glaucoma.
- Eye Injury - Injury to the eye may cause secondary open-angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can occur immediately after the injury or years later.
Maybe 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 retina—the light sensitive area at the back of the eye responsible for processing images is only the true way you will know you have Glaucoma.
How Does Glaucoma Testing Work?
There are two types of Glaucoma tests that measure the internal pressure of the eye but one is much more accurate than the other.
Is Glaucoma Preventable?
Along with regular eye exams at Professional Vision to ensure early detection, a variety of different steps are possible to proactively prevent the development of Glaucoma. A regular program of moderate exercise has been proven to benefit your overall health. For example exercise such as walking or jogging three or more times every week can help reduce your intraocular pressure. Eye injuries, such as blunt force trauma, and severe eye infections have also been connected to traumatic glaucoma or secondary glaucoma, so protecting your eyes from injury and keeping them clean of bacteria are also important for preventing glaucoma.
Forms of Glaucoma
There are several types of glaucoma. The two main types are Open-angle and Angle-closure.
Open-Angle Glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma, is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals, resulting in increased eye pressure. “Open-angle” means that the angle where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be. Open-angle glaucoma is also called primary or chronic glaucoma and develops over time.
Angle-Closure Glaucoma has a closed or narrow angle between the iris and cornea, it develops very quickly, with noticeable symptoms and damage.
It is also called acute glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma and it demands immediate medical attention.
Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG)
Also called low-tension or normal-pressure glaucoma. In normal-tension glaucoma the optic nerve is damaged even though the eye pressure is not very high. We still don't know why some people’s optic nerves are damaged even though they have almost normal pressure levels.
This type of glaucoma occurs in babies when there is incorrect or incomplete development of the eye's drainage canals during the prenatal period. This is a rare condition that may be inherited. When uncomplicated, microsurgery can often correct the structural defects. Other cases are treated with medication and surgery.
Glaucoma can cause slight to severe vision loss, and is often discovered only after the disease is present—that’s why glaucoma testing is so important.
Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!