Glaucoma & The Importance of Eye Exams

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a chronic progressive eye disease characterized by a degeneration of the optic nerve. This can lead to serious vision loss if not detected and treated early. The optic nerve takes all of the information the eye sees and transmits that information to the brain. 

What causes glaucoma?

The exact cause and mechanism of glaucoma is not fully understood. There seems to be some level of mechanical compression and/or decreased blood flow to the optic nerve. Although high eye pressure sometimes leads to glaucoma, many people can also develop glaucoma with “normal” eye pressure. While anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at greater risk.

The optic nerve is the most susceptible part of the eye to high pressure because the delicate fibers in this nerve are easily damaged either by direct pressure on the nerve or decreased blood flow to the nerve.

How is glaucoma detected? A comprehensive eye examination is often the only way to detect glaucoma. Your doctor of optometry will perform a simple and painless procedure called tonometry during your routine eye exam, which measures the internal pressure of your eye. They will also inspect the drainage angle inside the eye and look into your eye to observe the health of the optic nerve and measure your peripheral vision. Your doctor of optometry will take a detailed look at your optic nerve often through a dilated pupil using a series of hand held lenses. They may also use advanced imaging devices when assessing your optic nerve.

How often should someone be checked (screened) for glaucoma?

The following are the American Academy of Ophthalmology's recommended intervals for eye exams:

For adults and kids alike, a regular eye exam is an important part of maintaining your overall health and making your vision last a lifetime. Without an eye exam, critical health issues can be overlooked until it’s too late.

At Eye and Health, we make a priortiy to examine each patient carefully, putting their health at the frontline. Book your eye exam here:

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