Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects millions of Americans. If not treated by an ophthalmologist, it can gradually steal sight without any warning and often without any symptoms.
Glaucoma is the result of when the optic nerve cells in the back of the eye have died. This is at least partly due to pressure inside the eye also known as intraocular pressure which is to high for the nerve cells in that particular eye to tolerate. The optic nerve cells’ job is to transform the light entering the eye into electrical impulses that can be understood by the brain. If enough cells die, then, some vision may be lost. Detecting the presence of ocular tissue damage related to intraocular pressure makes a diagnosis of glaucoma.
An intraocular pressure (the eye pressure) is measured in millimeters of mercury and can only be checked in an eye doctor’s office with special equipment.
At Gulf South Eye Associates, a thorough Glaucoma eye examination includes:
- The patient’s family history – Glaucoma is considered to be hereditary.
- Intraocular pressure measurement.
- Visual field test – to determine if there are any defects or peripheral vision loss.
- Pachymetry – test to measure the corneal thickness to ensure that the pressure reading is accurate.
- Gonioscopy- a diagnostic test to allow your doctor to evaluate the flow of the aqueous fluid.
- Nerve Fiber Analysis – test to measure the thickness of the layers of tissue around the optic nerve.
- Dilation of the pupils – to allow an evaluation of the appearance of the optic nerves including photography of the nerves.Gulf South Eye Associates has gone to extreme measures to keep our equipment at the state of the art level. Our doctors follow patients with Glaucoma or even suspicious changes very closely.
If you have or think you have Glaucoma, family history of Glaucoma or any would like an evaluation done please contact us for an appointment.
Things to Remember
- The best way to protect yourself from the loss of vision from Glaucoma is through regular eye exams with your ophthalmologist.
- Loss of vision from Glaucoma is irreversible.
- Glaucoma does not “go away”; it is a life long disease.
- Glaucoma usually does not have any signs or symptoms.
- In most cases, Glaucoma can be controlled through the use of medications or a surgical procedure.
Here are a few interesting facts about Glaucoma:
- About 2% of the population ages 40 – 50 and 8% over 70 years of age have elevated eye pressures. Approximately 65 million people have Glaucoma worldwide.
- Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and the first leading cause of preventable blindness.
- African Americans ages 45 -65 are 17 times more likely to go blind from Glaucoma then any other ethnic group.
- Other high risks groups include: people over 60 years of age, people with a family history of Glaucoma, diabetics and severely nearsighted people.
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