Glaucoma affects millions of Canadians and while there is currently no cure for this condition, testing and detection play a valuable role in glaucoma management. Cutting-edge technology and new research continue to help doctors identify glaucoma when it is in its most manageable stages. Early intervention can help prevent additional damage and vision loss.
During your regular glaucoma check at our clinic, our Optometrist will check both of your eyes for pressure and associated damage to the optic nerve. The fluid inside your eye is different than tears and as pressure builds, vision is affected. Intraocular pressure and optic nerve damage are two early warning signs of glaucoma.[/pod-collapseicon]
Open Angle Glaucoma, also called chronic glaucoma, is the most common type. It can also be difficult to detect since it advances slowly. An open angle chamber inside the eye causes intraocular pressure to increase.
Chronic glaucoma is caused when the drainage channels inside the eye gradually clog, preventing normal draining from occurring. This builds pressure inside the eye and gradually damages the optic nerve. The cornea, the sclera (the white part of the eye), and the iris are also affected by growing pressure.[/pod-collapseicon]
This condition, also called closed angle glaucoma, occurs when the angle of the chamber narrows. This also prevents normal drainage of intraocular fluid. Acute glaucoma occurs suddenly with symptoms such as severe eye pain, blurred vision, headache, profuse tear production, and haloes in the field of vision. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should request urgent glaucoma testing at our clinic.
Acute glaucoma is most common in people of Asian descent. Farsightedness also contributes to a person’s risk of acute glaucoma. Age is another factor that increases a person’s chance of experiencing this condition because the eye’s lens begins to naturally enlarge, resulting in a narrowed angle.[/pod-collapseicon]
Sometimes a patient may show evidence of damage to the optic nerve even though the pressure inside of the eye is within a normal range. Normal tension glaucoma is tested through examination with an ophthalmoscope. By using the ophthalmoscope to look through the pupil, an Optometrist can see the color and shape of the optic nerve. A visual field test can be used to detect blind spots even when a patient is not aware of having any. Risk factors associated with this condition include genetics, systemic heart disease, and Japanese ancestry.[/pod-collapseicon]
This rare condition occurs when an infant’s eye drainage canals do not experience full development during the prenatal period. Excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, enlarged eyes, and cloudy eyes are indications of pediatric glaucoma. Parents should seek testing for their infant if these signs are detected.[/pod-collapseicon]
According to the CNIB, untreated glaucoma has the potential to progressively narrow the central field of vision. Lack of treatment may also lead to total vision loss.
Glaucoma testing should be a regular health screening if any of these risk factors affect you:
Early glaucoma detection is important because many symptoms go unnoticed for a long time. Annual eye health exams at Orillia Optometry will help patients catch this disorder early.