January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

The Family EyeCare Center staff would like to give you a little information on glaucoma and stress to you why it is an important part of your routine eye exam. The definition of glaucoma is a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing gradual loss of sight due to damage to the optic nerve. Many of you may not know it is called “sneak thief of sight” due to the lack of symptoms and permanent vision loss.

There are several tests that can be done in order to diagnose, treat and maintain glaucoma to help prolong its effects. Here at the office we have the latest technology to make this process easy and efficient. First and foremost we will use a device called a tonometer with every patient that comes to our office which gives us a screening of the intraocular pressure. If the pressure is high we would continue with further testing. The Humphrey matrix visual field is a piece of equipment used in the diagnosing of many ocular disorders but for glaucoma it measures the accuracy of a patient peripheral vision. Next we have the OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography) this is an instrument we use to take a closer look at a patients nerve fiber layer of the retina. Last but not least we have recently acquired a Diopsys NOVA VEP Vision Testing System which is a painless, non-invasive vision test that objectively measures the function of the entire visual pathway from the eyes to the visual center of the brain. Next if glaucoma is diagnosed, it can be treated with medicated drops, conventional surgery, laser treatment or in rare cases oral medication.

In conclusion early detection is key to prolonging the effects on your vision. With this disease the vision loss can be so gradual that it is not noticed by the person until it is too late and the permanent damage is done. The best defense to glaucoma and any eye disease is regular eye exams by an eyecare professional.

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