Glaucoma causes very gradual vision loss, it’s not uncommon for patients to be blind to the disease until there is a drastic change in their eyesight, which occurs in the advanced stages of the disease. Symptoms in advanced stages of Glaucoma may include buildup of ocular pressure within the eye, gradual changes to vision, nerve damage, tunnel vision and even blindness.
As with many diseases, early detection helps immensely in its treatment. Detection requires a thorough eye care exam by a trained eye doctor.
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will measure your intraocular eye pressure, evaluate the health and integrity of your optic nerve and test your field of vision. These tests need to be conducted on a regular basis to monitor any subtle changes to your eye function or vision. Advances in diagnostic equipment allow the eye doctors at Broome Optical in Amarillo to use computerized visual field testing that can identify areas of weakening vision. An instrument called an Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT) is used to detect very early changes to the optic nerve before blindness occurs.
Treatment for Glaucoma centers around ocular pressure. Eye drops can be applied to decrease fluid formation in the front of the eye or increase the fluid outflow to relieve pressure. Laser treatment can increase eye fluid outflow or get rid of fluid blockage, depending on the type of Glaucoma. Surgery, in which a new channel for fluid drainage in created, is another option.
Treating Glaucoma begins with narrowing down risk factors and understanding the root causes behind them. Luckily, there are warning signs and risk factors that make this eye disease easier to recognize: Heredity, ethnicity and family history are the biggest clues. African Americans have a genetic predisposition for this eye disease. If this eye disease runs in your family, you need regular comprehensive eye exams from an eye care professional.
Although this eye disease can strike at any age, people over the age of 45 are at a greater risk.
People who are nearsighted, diabetic, or have a history of smoking are more susceptible to developing Glaucoma. If you have had prolonged exposure to substances or chemicals such as steroids and cortisone you are at risk of developing this eye disease. If you have suffered an eye injury in the past, your chances of developing this eye disease increase.
The Doctors of Optometry at Broome Optical in Amarillo, Texas have access to the latest in eye disease diagnostics in order to accurately detect and diagnose Glaucoma. An OCT and computerized visual field instruments are available on-site allowing our eye doctors to conveniently and readily test patients.