Dr. Jim Martin 01/13/2016

diagnosis_glaucoma.jpgGlaucoma is an eye condition in which the eye fluid doesn't flow out of the eye properly, resulting in heightened intraocular pressure (IOP). This pressure leads to optic nerve damage, bringing about vision loss. Glaucoma is the second highest cause of blindness in the United States. Roughly one million people aren't even aware that they have glaucoma. Typically, glaucoma symptoms don't present until the final stages of the disease. At this point, irreversible damage has occurred.

What Is A Glaucoma Suspect?

The term glaucoma suspect refers to people who have some, but not all, of the common symptoms of glaucoma. Ocular hypertensive patients have elevated IOP and no other signs. Some patients have normal eye pressure but other glaucoma symptoms. Most glaucoma suspects never receive a glaucoma diagnosis.

If you have a family history of glaucoma and/or you're experiencing frequent headaches, nausea, loss of peripheral vision, or cloudiness, you may be suffering from elevated IOP and optic nerve damage. Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to get to the root of the issue. During the appointment, the optometrist will review your eye health history and then perform a comprehensive eye exam. The doctor will be checking for corneal thickness, pressure, and the eye's drainage angle and system to see if the aqueous humor is flowing normally.

What Is A Glaucoma Patient?
A glaucoma patient has optic nerve damage, elevated IOP, and subtle peripheral vision loss. In order for an eye doctor to declare that a patient has glaucoma, optic nerve damage must be present. An optometrist will always conduct a full eye exam and review all of the patient's symptoms before arriving at a glaucoma diagnosis.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

As glaucoma can destroy vision before there are any symptoms, it's important to be aware of glaucoma risk factors, including the following:

  • Being over age 60
  • Having high IOP
  • Having a family history of glaucoma
  • Certain races
  • Having certain eye conditions and other medical conditions
  • Having had certain types of eye surgery
  • Taking corticosteroid medications, particularly eyedrops, for an extended period of time
  • Glaucoma Treatments

There is no cure for glaucoma. However, patients who are treated early in the disease may prevent it from progressing. Common glaucoma treatments include oral medication, eye drops, and surgical procedures.

If you believe that you have glaucoma, consult a reputable optometrist who will be able to tell whether you are a glaucoma suspect or glaucoma patient. Make an appointment with Broome Optical now to be screened for glaucoma.

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