Visit Your Optometrists in Ozark, Enterprise, Troy, & Luverne
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world – when left untreated. Characterized by elevated intraocular pressure, this age-related eye disease does not present any symptoms and is painless during the early stages. Therefore, the only way to detect the onset of glaucoma is through a comprehensive eye exam, which is why our optometrists in Ozark, Luverne, Troy, and Enterprise, AL, urge all patients over age 40 to schedule routine eye examinations. Advanced glaucoma screening is an essential part of the eye exams that we perform.
When glaucoma is discovered at the start, we will be able to begin early treatment. And early glaucoma treatment goes very far towards preventing complications and vision loss.
What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
- Family eye history is important – tell our optometrist if any members of your family have glaucoma
- Age – especially if you are over 40 years old
- Use of steroid inhalers for asthma treatment
- Hispanic Americans, particularly older population groups
- History of eye trauma or eye injury (this can cause secondary open-angle glaucoma)
How does my optometrist check for glaucoma?
In our eye care offices in Ozark, Luverne, Troy, and Enterprise, AL, your optometrist will administer a number of screening tests for glaucoma. While the primary indicator is increased pressure of intraocular fluid, this sign is not enough to confirm diagnosis. Using the latest optometric equipment, we will also inspect your retinal tissues and optic nerve, usually with a dilated eye exam.
Glaucoma Testing procedures include:
Your optometrist will use a tonometer to precisely gauge intraocular pressure. Tonometry can be done with two different methods. Either we will place a small probe gently on your ocular surface (eye numbing drops are applied first), or we will use a specialized device that shoots a puff of air across the ocular surface. A high measurement from either of these tests indicates a problem with the amount of fluid in your eye.
OCT scans and/or a retinal camera will be used to view a detailed image of your optic nerve. As this digital imaging technique is repeated over time, we will be able to compare the resulting images and keep track of any changes. Differences in your optic nerve may indicate progressive glaucoma damage, which is significant information for determining the best glaucoma treatment plan for your condition.
Visual Field Testing
We equip our offices in Ozark, Luverne, Troy, and Enterprise, AL, with the latest devices for visual field testing, such as the FDT and Humphrey VF. These tools detect any loss of peripheral vision, which is useful for screening patients for glaucoma.
How does my optometrist treat glaucoma?
The primary objective of all glaucoma treatment is to lower or stabilize intraocular pressure. By doing this, damage to your optic nerve is minimized or eliminated.
Medicated eye drops are generally the first type of glaucoma treatment that your optometrist will prescribe. In order for these drops to be effective, it is essential that you apply them regularly, according to your optometrist’s instructions. Patient negligence is actually the most common reason for the failure of glaucoma treatment.
Depending upon how far your glaucoma has progressed and how much damage has already been caused, other possible treatments include laser procedures, conventional bladed surgery, or a combination of both surgical methods.
Routine eye exams are the most reliable way to protect your vision against the damaging effects of glaucoma. Contact our optometrists in Luverne, Ozark, Troy, and Enterprise, AL, today to book your appointment.