Safeguarding Your Vision: Priceless
Do I need a test for glaucoma? The short answer: Yes!
Worldwide, it is estimated that about 66.8 million people suffer from poor vision due to glaucoma, with 6.7 million suffering from blindness. Optometrists estimate that half of those affected may not even have been aware they initially had glaucoma; symptoms often do not appear during the early stages of the disease.
This is why glaucoma screening and treatment is so very important; without treatment glaucoma can simply creep up and steal your vision.
While there is no current cure for glaucoma, treatment can be very effective in managing vision and slowing the disease’s progress.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is progressive damage of the optic nerve: the bundle of nerve fibres that carries information from the eye to the brain. The anterior chamber sits at the front of the eye. In a normal eye, clear liquid flows in and out of this anterior chamber. However, with glaucoma the fluid drains too slowly out of the eye leading to fluid build-up, and pressure inside the eye. Unless the pressure in the eye is lowered and controlled, the optic nerve and other parts of the eye can be damaged, leading to loss of vision.
Do I need a test for glaucoma? Absolutely! Untreated, glaucoma causes irreversible blindness. The good news is that with routine eye exams, early signs of glaucoma can be detected and treatment plans put in place.
What Treatment Is There For Glaucoma?
Glaucoma treatment is focused on lowering the pressure in the eye, usually through eye drops, but in some cases laser surgery or more complex surgical procedures may be effective.
If caught early, glaucoma can be managed. Treatment can save remaining vision, but it is not able to restore sight already lost from glaucoma. This is why it is so very important that glaucoma is spotted early. See our optometrists for a thorough eye check.
See Us For a Glaucoma Test
At John O’Connor Optometrists we recently purchased a second retinal camera. We can now offer digital retinal photography as part of the glaucoma testing at both our Henderson and Newmarket optometry practices.
What Is A Glaucoma Test?
There are a few tests to check for glaucoma. We check your eye pressure because sometimes high eye pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye.
We also check your field of vision with a visual field machine because glaucoma can cause a reduction to the field of vision and tunnel vision. Without treatment, this loss continues until the eye is blind.
We assess the appearance of your optic nerve head at the back of your eye because this can show signs of damage due to glaucoma or other eye diseases. We recommend for everyone to have digital retinal photography done with a retinal camera. Retinal imaging is non-invasive and takes only seconds to do. It allows our optometrists to see about 80% of the retina so we can detect even the earliest signs of disease.
All you have to do is place your head on a chin rest with your forehead against a bar. The optician will then focus and align the camera to focus on the back of the retina and take the photograph. All you see is a bright flash. Done!
The charge for the retinal photos is $18 for both eyes: such a very small price to pay for your vision.
Taking a retinal image and testing for glaucoma and other eye diseases at each annual eye exam gives our optometrists the opportunity to compare your photos from year to year; we can then discover even the most subtle changes to help monitor your eye health.