Glaucoma Screening

Glaucoma Screening
Glaucoma is a term aligned with related eye disorders that are able to cause serious damage to the optic nerve. This is significant because it affects your peripheral vision, which can lead to blindness, and also conflicts with the information that is registered and transferred from your eyes to your brain. Glaucoma tends to be related to the high pressure within the eye – better known as ocular hypertension. Click here to learn more about glaucoma.

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A component of our comprehensive eye exams, glaucoma screening is vitally important to ensuring the health and functionality of your eyes and vision remain intact. At My Optometrist Calgary, we use a number of different specialized tests and follow-up procedures to detect whether you're suffering from glaucoma or at risk of developing this eye condition. With early detection, glaucoma can be effectively managed and its progression slowed. 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many different types of glaucoma with differing symptoms, so it is important to have regular eye exams, as most of the time patients are asymptomatic in the early stages.

Glaucoma is known for its ability to sneak up on patients because there is no pain experienced or produced, as well as unnoticed symptoms for most cases. Glaucoma is often detected through damage chronically caused to the optic nerve. Once the disease has progressed, people may begin to notice reduced peripheral vision, which is sometimes referred to as “tunnel vision”.

For some cases of glaucoma, there is pain experienced. For example, acute angle closure glaucoma is characterized by symptoms such as eye pain, dilated pupils, loss in vision, eye redness, headaches, nausea and vomiting. It falls under the category of “narrow angle glaucoma”.

Those who are at risk for glaucoma should have a dilated pupil exam every one to two years. A comprehensive eye exam will be administered to help assist in diagnosing the condition accurately. These tests may include:

  • Tonometry – this test is used to measure pressure within the eye. The eye is initially numbed with eye drops. Thereafter, a tonometer’s probe typically rests gently against the surface of the eye. Some blow a puff of air onto the surface of the eye. A high reading of intraocular pressure signifies a problem with the amount of fluid being produced and available within the eye. The eye could be overproducing the fluid or not producing enough.
  • Visual Acuity Test – using this test has the ability to measure the sight of a patient at different distances. The patient reads from a standardized eye chart seated 20 feet away. They use each eye to take the test, with and without corrective lenses. Click here to learn more about various necessary eye exams.
  • Visual Field Testing – This test is used to measure the entire area able to be seen by the eye. This includes central and peripheral vision. The dimmest light able to be seen at each spot tested is measured by the patient pressing a button. The test may be repeated to confirm there is no developing blind spots from optic nerve damage or the progression of vision loss from the condition. Click here to learn more.

Initially, eye drop medication that attempts to lower intraocular pressure is prescribed to attempt to control the condition. For more severe and progressive cases, an effective method of treatment for this disorder is glaucoma surgery, which can be done in a number of ways.

  • It is important that, even though glaucoma is often painless, you keep up with your eye drop medication schedule, as negligence will only cause further damage to the optic nerve. 
  • Glaucoma surgery is the long-term treatment plan, especially for those with severe cases of it. It allows patients to achieve intended eye pressure, while preventing further vision loss and the progression of the disease.

Your eyes are important to your overall health, make it a point to see your eye doctor annually in order to provide yourself with long-term benefits and a reduced risk of developing glaucoma as you age. By maintaining an active lifestyle, avoiding smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet and weight, you are able to reduce your risk for glaucoma.

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