There is a reason why glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of sight”. Glaucoma can develop for years without ever showing symptoms. But eventually glaucoma can rear its ugly head and, before you know it, you have suffered permanent vision loss.
Glaucoma is regarded as one of the top reasons for having an eye exam every year. Eye exams can detect the early warning signs of glaucoma simply through standard tests.
Glaucoma is a progressive disease of the optic nerve, usually resulting from an increase in intraocular eye pressure (IOP). When the IOP level rises inside of your eye, it can damage your optic nerve, leading to permanent vision loss.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease. It occurs when blockages begin to form in the drainage system of your eye, also known as the trabecular meshwork. These blockages prevent fluid from draining, leading to an increase in your IOP levels, putting pressure on the optic nerve which, in turn, can cause permanent vision damage.
Normal-tension glaucoma is a form of the disease that has perplexed doctors for years. During normal-tension glaucoma, you can experience the same damage to your optic nerve as you would with open-angle glaucoma, but your IOP levels are within the normal range.
The only way to detect this disease is by performing an eye exam and checking the status of your optic nerve.
Closed-angle glaucoma, sometimes called angle-closure glaucoma, isn’t as common as open-angle glaucoma, but it is far more serious and occurs suddenly. When the angle between your cornea and iris closes off completely, it cuts off the drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye.
This then causes a rapid rise of IOP. Symptoms include the sudden onset of a headache, eye pain, blurred vision, and even nausea. This is considered to be a medical emergency.
How We Detect Glaucoma
Goldmann Applanation Tonometer
Goldmann applanation tonometry (GAT) is considered to be the “gold-standard” of testing IOP levels. After instilling eye drops and fluorescein dye into your eyes, a small probe is pressed against the cornea while illuminating a blue light. The pressure the cornea puts back on to the probe is measured to determine your eye’s IOP level.
Perkins tonometry is very much the same as a GAT, however, this version is handheld to allow optometrists more flexibility, particularly when working with children. Veterinarians are also known to use this device for checking IOP levels on pets!
Icare tonometers are portable and follow the same process as the other tonometer options, but without the need for diagnostic eye drops. A measurement is taken by a small probe gently pressing the eye.
Depending on the severity of your glaucoma, we will either prescribed IOP lowering drops and/or refer you for glaucoma surgery.
Glaucoma surgery can either be performed by lasers or by an incision, but both are designed to help the flow of your intraocular fluids and lower IOP levels. Laser glaucoma surgery has a focused laser treat the trabecular meshwork to improve flow, while an incisional surgery can create a drainage hole in your eye allowing the fluid to pass through the clogged drainage canal.
Book Your Appointment Today!
Even if you don’t believe you have glaucoma, please book an eye exam anyways. Eye examinations are the only way to detect the signs of glaucoma, allowing us to set you on the right path to proper management and care.
It’s always great! Love the doctor and all the people that work there! Very patient and helpful.
Staff are great there! It’s a bustling place, but they’re well organized and always have a smile and positive customer service. Optometrists are very knowledgeable and helpful.
I went there today to get some new glasses. There was no wait, as I was seen at 2:55, even though my appointment was for 3:00! The staff were exceptionally nice and the optometrist I saw was extremely pleasant and knowledgeable. The location is beautiful and they have a great selection of glasses frames. I was very impressed with my visit.
You can easily find our office at the Canamera Medical Centre, located South of Zehrs at Cambridge Centre. We have free parking, with convenient handicap parking right in front of our office. Visit us today!