Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and potential blindness. It is often associated with increased pressure inside the eye but can also occur with normal or low eye pressure. Treatment includes eye drops, laser therapy, and surgery to lower eye pressure and slow or stop further vision loss. When you visit Ariel Soffer MD, FACC, for a glaucoma diagnosis, the doctor will typically perform a comprehensive eye exam
Glaucoma evaluation and diagnosis
Glaucoma evaluation and diagnosis may include the following tests:
- Tonometry: This test measures the pressure inside the eye, which is an important factor in diagnosing glaucoma.
- Ophthalmoscopy: This exam allows the doctor to view the optic nerve in the back of the eye and check for signs of damage or abnormalities.
- Visual field testing: This test measures the full horizontal and vertical range of what a person can see in their peripheral vision.
- Gonioscopy: This test involves using a special lens to examine the eye’s drainage angle to determine whether it is open or closed, which is important in the diagnosis and treatment of certain types of glaucoma.
Based on the results of these tests, the eye doctor can determine whether a person has glaucoma, the type of glaucoma, and the appropriate treatment plan. It is important to get regular eye exams, especially if a person is at high risk for glaucoma due to factors such as age, family history, or certain medical conditions.
Below are the warning signs to see a doctor for glaucoma:
High eye pressure
High eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure, is a common risk factor for glaucoma. It refers to the pressure inside the eye, produced by the fluid (aqueous humor) that flows in and out of the eye to provide nutrients and maintain the shape of the eye.
In healthy eyes, the fluid is balanced, and the pressure remains within a normal range. However, in glaucoma, the pressure inside the eye may rise to a level that can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.
Eye doctors can measure eye pressure through various methods, including a non-contact tonometry test that uses a puff of air to measure the pressure or an applanation tonometry test that uses a small device to touch the surface of the eye gently.
Blurred vision or seeing halos around lights
Blurred vision may occur in one or both eyes and can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of damage to the optic nerve. Halos around lights can also occur A halo-like aura that appears around light sources such as streetlights or headlights. These symptoms may be more noticeable in low-light conditions or at night.
Loss of peripheral vision
In glaucoma, the optic nerve that transmits visual information from the eye to the brain is gradually damaged, which can lead to a loss of peripheral vision. This means that a person may have difficulty seeing objects or movement at the edges of their visual field while central vision remains intact. Over time, if left untreated, the loss of peripheral vision can progress to affect central vision, leading to blindness.
If you have any concerns about your vision or eye health, it is advisable to see your doctor at IC Laser Eye Care.