Early detection, through regular and complete eye exams, is the key to protecting your vision from damage caused by glaucoma. A complete eye exam includes five common tests to detect glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to your optic nerve. This usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, increasing the pressure in the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve. This can lead to vision loss or blindness. Studies have revealed that glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years old, though early treatment can prevent it.
Prevention is possible only with early detection and treatment. Since symptoms are often absent, regular eye exams which include a glaucoma screening are essential, particularly for individuals at risk of the disease. While anyone can get glaucoma, the following traits put you at a higher risk:
- Age over 60
- Hispanic or Latino descent, Asian descent
- African Americans over the age of 40 (glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans, 6-8 times more common than in Caucasians.)
- Family history of glaucoma
- People with severe nearsightedness
- Certain medications (e.g. steroids)
- Significant eye injury (even if it occurred in childhood)
Diagnostic Test for Glaucoma
Regular eye examinations at Golden Eye Optometry in Hesperia include glaucoma screening. However, at our eye care centre, checking eye pressure is not enough to find signs of glaucoma. During a thorough glaucoma evaluation, your Winnipeg eye doctor will:
- Inspect your eye’s drainage angle
- Inspect your optic nerve for damage
- Test your peripheral vision
- Take a picture or computer measurement of your optic nerve, and
- Measure the thickness of your cornea
These are all done in addition to measuring your eye pressure.
The natural lens of the eye should be clear to properly bend (refract) the light that comes through it to help us see. A cataract is the clouding of that lens in one or both eyes. This is a fairly common problem that is generally related to aging – more than half of all people over the age of 80 have cataracts or have had cataract surgery.
Testing for Cataracts
Certain tests that are performed during a comprehensive eye exam will allow your optometrist to make a cataract diagnosis. These tests include the slit-lamp exam, retinal exam, and refraction and visual acuity test. Your eyes may need to be dilated for these tests.
If a cataract diagnosis is made, there are ways to deal with it. One possible solution is cataract surgery, which is performed to remove cataracts.