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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month!

What is Glaucoma and are you at risk? Find out from the video below.

The good news is when you have an eye health exam with us we check for Glaucoma. Schedule your eye health appointment today either online or by phone!

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You may be at risk of developing Glaucoma and not even know it. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss. The two key risk factors for Glaucoma are elevated eye pressure and changes to the optic nerve. Other risk factors may include: family history, ethnicity, narrow angles, thin corneas, and retinal nerve fiber loss. Early detection and regular eye exams are the best ways to minimize and prevent vision loss caused by Glaucoma. Don’t wait until it is too late, set up an appointment with your eye care professional today.

Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness, and therefore everyone needs to be aware of this disease. However, certain people are at a greater risk of developing this disease than others. These include: people over the age of forty, individuals who are severely myopic or nearsighted, people who have diabetes, people diagnosed with hypertension, long term steroid or cortisone users, people of african or mediterranean descent, people who have family members with the disease, individuals who have experienced a serious injury or trauma to their eye, those who have high intra ocular pressure, and people with enlarged optic nerves. Glaucoma is a highly detectable disease. It is essential that high-risk glaucoma patients have annual eye examinations to ensure continued ocular health.

Individuals who are at risk of developing glaucoma should be tested regularly to maintain the quality of their vision. There are many different tests that eye doctors may perform to monitor for glaucoma: One test a doctor may perform is called Ophthalmoscopy. During this test, the doctor observes the condition of the optic nerve through a special microscope. If necessary, your doctor may also use a special camera to take photographs of your eye for future comparison. Another test that may be performed is called Tonometry. This test measures for the presence of elevated pressure inside of the eye, a key risk factor for glaucoma. The thickness of the cornea can influence the results of a Tonometry test, so a doctor may measure the cornea by performing a test called Pachymetry. Knowing the thickness of the cornea can help the doctor more accurately interpret pressure within the eye. A doctor may perform a Gonioscopy test. During this test, the doctor observes the angle of the eye where fluid is supposed to drain to see if there is any blockage or closure that may elevate pressure within the eye. Patients may also be given an interactive test, called a Visual Fields test to detect vision loss due to glaucoma. During this test, patients look straight ahead, and indicate when they see a spot of light appear in their visual field. Spots that go unnoticed during this test may indicate areas of vision loss. Another test that may be performed, measures your optic nerve using computerized imaging devices. These devices scan the area of the optic nerve, providing highly-detailed images of the optic nerve and surrounding tissue. This test can help doctors identify and treat glaucoma far in advance of previous technologies. Doctors may perform one, or all of these tests on a patient, depending on their risks of developing glaucoma, and the condition of their eyes. Performed regularly, these tests provide an eye doctor with the information needed to effectively treat glaucoma, and prevent vision loss.