Glaucoma is the generalized name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve of the eye, preventing it from sending accurate visual information to the brain.
Increased pressure inside the eyes is a key indicator of the disease, however it does not necessarily mean you have glaucoma. In fact, the only way to detect glaucoma is to have a detailed, comprehensive eye exam.
What is Glaucoma Testing?
During routine eye exams, our optometrists perform a number of screening tests for the detection of glaucoma. They will check the pressure inside the eyes, test your "side" vision, and dilate your pupils to evaluate the appearance of your optic nerves. If you have a family history of glaucoma or if any of your screening tests create suspicion of glaucoma, we will use our advanced technology to further assess your eye health and "side" vision. We will use your test results to determine whether glaucoma treatment is necessary and to monitor your eyes for progression.
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce or stabilize the pressure inside the eye. Depending on the severity of the disease, treatment for glaucoma can involve the use of medications, conventional (bladed) surgery, laser surgery or a combination of these treatments. Medicated eye drops aimed at lowering the pressure inside the eye are usually tried first to control glaucoma.
If you find that the eye drops you are using for glaucoma are uncomfortable or inconvenient, never discontinue them without first consulting your optometrist.
Glaucoma can cause slight to severe vision loss, and is often discovered only after the disease is present—that is why annual testing for glaucoma is so important.
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