Dr. Jim Martin 09/09/2014

depressed-older-woman.jpgGlaucoma is a serious condition that is often overlooked in its early stages, but leads to irreversible optic nerve damage and is the second leading cause of blindness. By the year 2020, it is estimated that over 80 million people will suffer from glaucoma globally. These pressing facts have lead to a number of approaches in addressing this complex condition.

Eye Examinations

A routine eye examination is a vital first step in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. Depending on your personal risk factors, an eye examination should be performed by a qualified optometrist once a year, or every two years. The testing should include:
  • visual acuity
  • visual field
  • dilated eye exam
  • ophthalmoscopy
  • tonometry - determines the intraocular pressure of the eyes
  • refraction
If glaucoma is suspected, the following tests may be added:
  • automated visual field
  • optical coherence tomography of the optic nerve
  • pachymeter reading of the cornea
  • optic nerve head photos
  • gonioscopy
It is a common misperception that glaucoma is associated with high pressures within the eye and affects only the elderly. This condition can be found in eyes with normal pressures, high pressure, even below normal pressures, at any age, making it important to complete a full eye examination to assess risk factors and level of damage to the optic nerve. As with many other health conditions, early diagnosis and treatment is one of the greatest benefits to an individual with glaucoma.

Treatment Options

There are a number of methods to treat and manage glaucoma depending upon the type and severity of the condition. These may include:
  • eye drops
  • oral medications
  • laser surgery
  • micro eye surgery
  • combination of these therapies
Sticking to the treatment plan and frequent followups with your eye care professional is vital to prevent the progression of glaucoma. The vision loss associated with this serious eye condition is irreversible.
Micro Invasive Glaucoma Surgery, or MIGS, is a relatively new technique and device that allows the ophthalmologist to perform precision surgery to address the ocular complications associated with glaucoma. The exciting advancement of this therapy provides surgeons with a viable, direct surgical option for all levels of glaucoma rather than as last resort. This approach also has the added benefit of a combined treatment for people who also have cataracts.
The professionals at Broome Optical keep abreast of all the latest technology and techniques to provide exceptional eye care. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with glaucoma, or you suspect this condition may be an issue, do not hesitate to make an appointment for a thorough evaluation. Because at Broome Optical, we believe life is worth seeing.
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