Eye Doctor Network
Glaucoma - what you need to know
is a disease in which the eye's intraocular pressure (IOP) is too high for you
(what is good for someone else may be bad for you or vice versa). The
pressure goes up when the eye has too much aqueous humor in it because either
too much of this liquid is being produced or it is not draining properly.
The pressure reduces the blood flow to the nerve fiber layer and the nerve fiber layer dies off at an abnormal rate for your age. An abnormal loss of this layer can eventually lead to blindness.
We routinely check your pressure and dilate your eyes during the course of your exam, but in order to diagnose glaucoma more completely we may need to do the following:
1. Additional pressure tests (note we do not use a puff machine) since pressures can vary day to day and time of day.
2. GDxVCC - this checks the thickness of the nerve fiber layer - see our additional link: Glaucoma Brochure on the GDxVcc Testing Machine
3. Pachometry - this checks the thickness of your cornea because it causes variation in pressure readings.
4. Visual Fields.
5. Angle assessment.
Those most at risk for glaucoma are individuals over the age of 45, African or Latin Americans, diabetics and those having poor circulation, previous trauma to the eye, long term coriticopteroids use (i.e.: in prescription nasal sprays), very near sighted, or a family history of glaucoma. However, pigmentary glaucoma tends to affect white males above the age of 30 most often.
Most people have no signs or symptoms of glaucoma until the disease has already progressed significantly. That is why it is referred to as the "sneak thief of sight", and the lost sight cannot be restored. Some signs may be blurred vision, pain, headaches, halos around lights, redness and decreased peripheral vision.
Although glaucoma has no cure, it can be treated to slow or halt its progression. The treatment depends on the type of glaucoma you have but most people simply need to put a drop in the eye. If it requires a second opinion or surgery, we will put you in touch with the proper specialist. It is important to detect glaucoma as soon as possible and that is one reason we say Check Yearly - See Clearly!
We hope you will not have Glaucoma, but if you do, you can count on Dr. Stephen S. Jennings, O. D. and his friendly staff to be there for you when you need information, help, treatment, and advice.
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