How Glaucoma Is Detected
Glaucoma is a condition that’s caused by a buildup of pressure and fluid within the eye. This puts pressure on the optic nerve at the back of the eye. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness.
It’s something that’s routinely checked for during eye exams. One method of doing this is the ‘puff test’. This is a general screening tool that can indicate if the eye pressure is too high. This, along with other tests, gives the eye doctor an indication of whether or not to carry out further procedures to check for glaucoma.
All About Glaucoma
- Symptoms of glaucoma
- How is glaucoma diagnosed?
Symptoms of glaucoma
Glaucoma doesn’t usually have any symptoms during the initial stages. It develops over many years with the first a sufferer knows about it is when they notice a deterioration of the peripheral vision. Other possible symptoms include seeing halos, or rainbow-colored circles, around a light source.
Both eyes are usually affected, often with one being worse than the other. In a minority of cases, the condition can develop suddenly. If this happens it can cause some or all of the following:
- Blurred vision
- Intense eye pain
- Tenderness around the eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red-eye (pink eye)
How is glaucoma diagnosed
Most cases of glaucoma are picked up during routine eye examinations. Your eye doctor will also consider your medical and family medical history, as these can raise the likelihood that you might develop the condition at some point in your life.
There are 5 tests commonly used to determine if you have the condition, the type of glaucoma, and how far it has progressed.
- Tonometry: This measures the pressure within the eye
- Perimetry: To measure the field of vision
- Ophthalmoscopy: Also known as a dilated eye exam, this allows the doctor to view the shape and color of the optic nerve
- Pachymetry: This measures the thickness of the cornea
- Gonioscopy: To measure the angle in the eye where the iris meets the cornea
Once your eye doctor has the results of these tests, he or she can make a diagnosis as to whether or not you have glaucoma. Some of the examinations are a little invasive, so drops to numb the eye are used to ensure no discomfort.
In the early stages, there is often no treatment—just regular monitoring once or twice a year to keep an eye on its progression.
Treatment for Glaucoma
- Glaucoma surgery and treatment
Glaucoma surgery and treatment
As the condition progresses your ophthalmologist will be likely to suggest one of many different types of treatment. These range from medication and eye drops to more invasive surgical procedures. The type recommended will depend on the type of glaucoma you suffer from and any other health issues you may have. Some are carried out using lasers, others with traditional surgery.
No matter what the treatment, the aim is the same—to reduce the pressure within the eye. Such procedures are carried out by a glaucoma specialist.
One of the most popular forms of treatment, and one that’s often used when eye drops and medication have failed to adequately reduce the interior eye pressure, is selective laser trabeculoplasty. It’s carried out under local anesthetic and takes about 10 minutes. The success rate is high and most people can return home straight after the procedure.
Contact the WBEC for the Latest Advanced Treatments for Glaucoma
While glaucoma is a serious condition, it’s no longer the regular cause of blindness that it used to be. Dr. Brent Bellotte of the West Boca Eye Center is a world-leading expert in the latest treatments. His work in this area means that his clinic can offer treatments that might not be available elsewhere, including a variety of surgeries and dropless therapy.
Don’t leave your eyesight to chance. Contact the WBEC today or visit https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/glaucoma-dropless-therapy/ to find out more.