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Glaucoma is the generalized name for a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve of the eye, preventing the eye from sending accurate visual information to the brain, which over time will affect the field of vision. It is commonly associated with higher intra-ocular pressure. Glaucoma most frequently occurs after the age 40, but can occur at any age. Certain factors increase your risk of developing glaucoma, such as being of African descent, having a family history of glaucoma, having high blood pressure or high blood sugar (Diabetics). There is also a greater tendency for glaucoma to develop in individuals who are nearsighted (myopic), have vascular conditions or a history of migraines. Individuals who are at a heightened risk for glaucoma should have their eyes examined at least once a year.
Glaucoma tests are designed to test your eyes for one of the key signs of the disease, increased eye pressure; however, only a comprehensive eye exam can reveal whether or not you have glaucoma. Glaucoma testing involves measuring eye pressure and performing a detailed scan of the retina for signs of the disease. Increased pressure inside the eye is often a key indicator of glaucoma, though not exclusively so. Our doctors will use a number of tests to determine your eye pressure, as well as check for signs of glaucoma through a detailed examination of the retina, the light-sensitive area at the back of the eye responsible for processing images. Among the key diagnostic tests that will be performed to aid our doctors in determining your risk of glaucoma is assessing corneal thickness and performing visual field tests and OCT scans of the optic nerve and retina. In the early stages of the disease, diagnosis may be difficult due to the lack of symptoms that the patient will feel or be aware of. Often times, patients are shocked to learn that there is an issue with their eyes, which is what makes this condition dangerous - by the time you notice problems with your sight, the disease has already progressed to the point of irreversible vision loss and additional loss may be difficult to prevent. If diagnosed at an early stage, glaucoma can be controlled and little or no further vision loss should occur. If left untreated, blindness will occur. Allow us to manage your risk and provide a comprehensive examination, which is the best defense against vision loss and an important part of maintaining your overall health.