What Is Glaucoma?
The Glaucoma Research Foundation estimates that 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of people affected realize that they have this common eye condition. As glaucoma represents the leading cause of blindness in the United States, getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment could literally save your vision. Fortunately, making regular visits to the eye doctor increases the likelihood that glaucoma will be caught in its earliest stages, preventing vision loss.
The eye is constantly bathed in fluid that provides nourishment to its tissues. Glaucoma occurs when fluid builds up and causes an increase in pressure within the eye. This pressure can squeeze the optic nerve, which relays visual information from the eyes to your brain. Damage to the optic nerve results in vision loss, which may include partial or total blindness.
Comprehensive Eye Exam to Diagnose Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a serious condition that has the potential to permanently damage vision. Fortunately, your optometrist at Central Nassau Optical can detect glaucoma through a comprehensive eye exam, which may include:
- Visual acuity test. The eye doctor will ask you to read letters from an eye chart to determine whether you have difficulty seeing at various distances.
- Visual field test. Glaucoma frequently affects vision at the outer edges of the visual field. Your optometrist will check your peripheral vision to determine whether you’re still able to see out of the sides of your eyes.
- Dilated eye exam. Under normal circumstances, it’s impossible for your eye doctor to see all the way to the back of the eye. Instead, special eye drops are placed into your eyes to dilate your pupils, allowing your optometrist to examine the optic nerve and retina at the back of your eyes. This is an important way of detecting damage indicative of glaucoma.
- Tonometry. The internal pressure of the eye can be measured using a special device called a tonometer. Typically, your eye doctor will apply numbing drops to your eyes before using this instrument to detect signs of glaucoma.
Glaucoma Eye Treatment in Levittown, NY
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for glaucoma, meaning that the condition is not reversible. However, there are several treatment options that can delay the progression of glaucoma and prevent vision loss. Talk to our doctor about glaucoma eye treatment in Levittown, NY to find the best option for you.
The first line of treatment for glaucoma is typically medicine. Prescription eye drops can reduce eye pressure by decreasing the amount of fluid produced or improving fluid drainage. Using these eye drops regularly can prevent vision loss from glaucoma.
Another option is called laser trabeculoplasty, a procedure performed at the eye clinic to drain fluid from your eye. A special laser is used to stretch drainage holes in the eye and reduce eye pressure. In some cases, referral to an ophthalmologist is needed to undergo conventional surgery to create new channels for fluid to drain from the eye.