Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms related to glaucoma, you may still suffer from an early onset of the disease. African-Americans over the age of 40 and all men and women over the age of 60 are at increased risk for glaucoma. Because the underlying causes of the disease can be present even if there are no symptoms, it’s very important for at-risk individuals to undergo routine eye examinations. Through a comprehensive evaluation of your eyes, our team of eye surgeons can perform glaucoma diagnosis. If positive treatment can be undertaken to preserve and protect your vision. Though glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be halted or delayed through the use of medication, non-surgical glaucoma treatment, or glaucoma surgery. Please don’t hesitate to contact SightMD today to arrange a consultation – we would be happy to help.
Glaucoma, of which there are many types, has no symptoms at first. Though a lack of symptoms may sound positive, in fact, it can prove quite detrimental in the long run, as early treatment of glaucoma is the best way to ensure preservation of vision. Treatment of glaucoma can prevent vision degradation, but any vision loss that has already occurred is permanent, so treating the disease before it has a chance to impact clarity of vision is important. If symptoms do occur, you likely will experience the following as your vision begins to deteriorate:
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Tunnel vision
- Loss of central vision, leading to blindness
The symptoms of glaucoma can severely inhibit vision. If you suffer any of these symptoms, we urge you to seek treatment today. If you are an at-risk individual and have yet to experience symptoms, we still encourage you to undergo glaucoma diagnosis at one of our locations.
To diagnose glaucoma, we will perform a range of tests that are designed to measure the quality of your vision and detect any potential damage to the optic nerve. These tests include:
- Visual Acuity Test – A traditional eye chart text, the visual acuity evaluation allows us to examine your distance vision.
- Visual Field Test – The field evaluation allows us to examine your entire field of vision, including your periphery.
- Dilated Eye Examination – By dilating, or widening, the pupil, we can examine the retina and optic nerves directly, through the use of special magnifying lenses. This allows us to look for optic nerve damage or other conditions which may affect vision.
- Tonometry – Glaucoma is caused by pressure on the optic nerve. Through the use of an instrument called a tonometer, we can measure pressure inside the eye and determine whether it’s abnormally high. High pressure can indicate the onset of glaucoma, or the potential for glaucoma development.
- Pachymetry – This test allows us to measure the thickness of your cornea. After numbing the eye with medicinal eye drops, we employ an instrument that emits an ultrasonic wave to measure corneal thickness, which may play a role in fluid pressure.
- Optical Coherence Tomography – Also known as OCT, this technique provides a non-invasive means of measuring the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) by directing light at the tissue and measuring its return. The benefits of this technique are many: near-microscopic resolution of sub-surface features, non-invasive, instant results, no preparation required, and no ionizing radiation exposure. With this data, we can compare the thickness of your retinal nerve fiber layer to that of a normative database.
- Gonioscopy – This test involves the use of a specialized lens, known as a goniolens or gonioscope, with a mirror to examine the iridioconreal angle that drains fluid from the eye. The angle is at the edge of the iris at the point where it joins the sclera, or white part of the eye. Because of the presence of the cornea, it is impossible to examine this angle directly. There are several different methods of gonioscopy, each based on the different lens utilized for examination. The purpose of each test is the same however – to diagnose and monitor eye conditions.
If we determine that you have glaucoma, we will determine which treatment method would be most effective at meeting your needs. After recommending a course of action, we can advise you on cost and financing options.
Please contact SightMD today to arrange a consultation with our experts. Through glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, we can protect and preserve your vision for years to come. Sight is an invaluable sense that plays an integral role in your quality of life – take action today to ensure the health of your eyes.