Glaucoma is defined as a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve of the eyes which, eventually, results in loss of vision. Serious vision loss can develop, however, early-on diagnosis and a treatment plan can protect your eyes.
A key major risk factor for damage to the optic nerve is eye pressure. When fluid passes very slowly through the meshwork drain of the eye, fluid builds up and pressure in the eye rises to a level that can be damaging to the optic nerve. Open angle glaucoma and vision loss can ensue when the optic nerve is damaged from this increase of pressure and vision loss occurs. The importance of controlling eye pressure cannot be overstated.
Other risk factors include blood pressure not being maintained at an optimum level. Several other risk factors include: middle-aged and older adults have an increased chance of developing glaucoma; family history, eye injury or surgery; diabetes and taking corticosteroid medications also increases risk. As open-eye angle glaucoma has no immediate symptoms, causes no pain and vision is in the normal range, it is imperative to obtain regularly scheduled eye exams, and glaucoma testing and screening yearly and, possibly more often if any risk factors are involved.
Types of Glaucoma Tests
There are five comprehensive glaucoma tests and examinations that can be performed by Sisselman Medical Group at either of our Commack or Massapequa offices, and the reasoning for so many tests is because, at time, glaucoma is not always easily detectible. Tonometry, which determines inner eye pressure; ophthalmoscopy in which the eyes are dilated to observe shape and color of the optic nerve; visual field test, known as perimetry; gonioscopy checks the eye angle where the iris meets the cornea and pachymetry examines the cornea thickness.
Initially for early stage glaucoma, eye drops are prescribed to delay progression of this disease and as a form of glaucoma treatment. The continued use of these medications must be regularly adhered to as prescribed as failure to do so will further damage vision and to prevent glaucoma surgery. More advanced stages of this eye disease can require laser trabeculoplasty which assists in draining eye fluid or surgery which makes a new opening to release eye fluid.
Know that only you can initially help to save your eyesight and this is to be accomplished by regularly scheduled eye exams as vision loss cannot totally be reversed. It is up to you to be pro-active and protect your eyes. Your eyes are windows to see the world; take care of them and protect your sight.
Glaucoma Screening and Testing Locations on Long Island
To schedule your glaucoma testing or screening, please contact Sisselman Medical Group’s two offices, Massapequa or Commack.