Why Glaucoma Testing is Important

Why Glaucoma Testing is Important

Glaucoma is a rare but serious disease that can only be detected through regular screenings.

Glaucoma is an eye disease that is relatively rare, but it can lead to permanent loss of vision and even complete blindness if severe. The most common type is primary open angle glaucoma, which has no symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. Glaucoma is related to the pressure from the fluid inside the eye, called the aqueous humor. If the pressure is too high, it can damage eye nerves, causing loss of vision.

Risk factors for
glaucoma include:

  • An age of over 40 years, although it can exist in younger patients
  • People of African American, Hispanic, Inuit, Irish, Japanese, Russian, and Scandinavian descent
  • High pressure in the eye
  • Previous eye injury
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Vascular diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and sickle cell anemia

The open angle type of glaucoma is usually caused by poor drainage of the fluid from the inside of the eye. The closed angle type of glaucoma occurs when the drainage “meshwork” of the eye (which is between the cornea and the iris) is blocked because of the structure of the eye itself. This is more common in people who are farsighted or who have cataracts. In contrast to the open angle, the closed angle type does often have symptoms, like halos around lights especially at night, and pain which can be severe if the drainage is completely blocked.

The vision loss caused by glaucoma can be prevented or limited by timely diagnosis, care and appropriate treatment. The exam is part of every general eye examination, and at Sterling Vision we have state-of-the-art equipment to scan the eye and test to see if the glaucoma is present or developing.

If glaucoma is diagnosed our doctors will usually prescribe eye drops, but sometimes glaucoma needs to be treated with a laser procedure or microscopic surgery. The basis of treatment for glaucoma is to lower the pressure inside the eye to prevent or stabilize the damage to the nerves and loss of vision. We will discuss recommendations and options with you for treatment if you have glaucoma, to optimize your level of care and to customize the most appropriate treatment for you.

Because glaucoma is usually only diagnosed by examination and testing, it is extremely important to have regular eye examinations.