Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye’s optic nerve. It is a leading cause of blindness in the United States.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Often there are no symptoms at first. Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral, or side, vision. They seem to be looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains.
Risk Factors of Getting Glaucoma
Anyone can get glaucoma. However, there are certain people who are more at risk. They include:
- People with a family history of glaucoma
- African Americans over age 40
- People over age 60, especially Latino
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
Types of Glaucoma
There are several types of glaucoma. The main type in the United States is open-angle, accounting for at least 90 percent of all glaucoma cases and affecting close to 80 million people around the world.
Other types of glaucoma include:
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma
- Normal-Tension Glaucoma (subset of open-angle glaucoma)
- Congenital Glaucoma
- Secondary Glaucoma
- Pigmentary Glaucoma
- Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma
- Traumatic Glaucoma
- Neovascular Glaucoma
- Irido Corneal Endothelial Syndrome
Causes of High Pressure Open-Angle Glaucoma
High pressure open-angle glaucoma is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals, resulting in increased eye pressure. It develops slowly, unnoticed, and is a lifelong condition.
Glaucoma Testing & Diagnosis
Various tests are used to determine the diagnosis and to monitor the progression of glaucoma.
- The tonometer measures the pressure in the eye.
- Visual field tests are used to look for and measure any vision loss in the peripheral and central field of vision.
- The Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) uses light to create a cross-sectional image of the back of the eye. It’s used to look for and to monitor optic nerve tissue loss from glaucoma.
- The Ultrasound Biomicroscopy (UBM) is a cutting-edge test that uses high-frequency ultrasound to image the anterior segment of the eye, especially some areas that cannot be imaged by any other technology. Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region is the first eye care facility in the state of New York to use this state-of-the-art technology outside of New York City.
If you have a family history of glaucoma, have risk factors for glaucoma (such as near-sightedness, diabetes, or of African American or Latino descent), or have been informed you may have glaucoma, it is important to schedule an appointment. The sooner we can diagnose and treat glaucoma, the better the outcome.
Get in touch with us today at our nearest location to you.