How Does an Eye Doctor Test for Early Glaucoma?

Glaucoma isn't as publicized as other, more prominent ocular issues, such as refractive errors and cataracts, that often get the lion's share of attention. But glaucoma is just as grave a threat to many Americans, afflicting about 3 million individuals in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Routine eye exams are essential. Glaucoma earned the moniker "silent thief of sight" because it may not cause any noticeable signs or symptoms until it has caused significant damage. If left untreated, it progresses and gradually takes one's sight, eventually causing blindness. It's so common that it's the world's second leading cause of blindness.

So, take action today and protect your sight by reaching out to us at Focal Point Vision or visiting one of our practices in San Antonio, TX.

How can glaucoma rob you of your vision and eye health?

Most glaucoma cases are due to increased pressure within the eye. Your eyes have a natural drainage system, the trabecular meshwork, that works its magic at the juncture of the iris and cornea. But if fluid cannot freely flow through this trabecular meshwork, it accumulates within the inner ocular spaces and creates pressure. If this mounting, harmful pressure isn't relieved, various tissues deteriorate, including the ever-important optic nerve. And, without this link between the eye and the brain, vision is impossible.

Glaucoma is so sneaky that the CDC estimates that approximately 50% of individuals with glaucoma don't even know they're harboring this silent, advancing disorder. Therefore, it's vital to regularly schedule professional eye exams with our caring team at Focal Point Vision. It's especially imperative if you have a family history of glaucoma or are entering the sixth decade of your life.

The following are some of the tests that experienced eye doctors utilize to test for early glaucoma

Ophthalmoscopy goes straight to the root of the problem. By applying dilating eye drops and using a light-producing, magnifying device, we can peer through the optic nerve, the part directly attacked by glaucoma.

Tonometry, through various means, examines the amount of pressure building within the eye. This reveals if the intraocular pressure (IOP) is fluctuating, how the disease is developing, and offers clues to the most effective treatment options.

The previous two tests are the ones mainly used, though the following can confirm the problem and provide extra details:

Perimetry is a test of one's peripheral vision. As glaucoma worsens, it creates blind spots in one's peripherals; for some, this obscuring of the visual field is the first apparent sign that something is wrong. This simple test involves staring straight ahead and alerting our experts when you see a light flash off to the side.

Via gonioscopy, we can check the intersection of the iris and cornea, allowing us to ascertain the type of glaucoma you may have so that we may formulate your treatment plan accordingly. To do that, we use a small mirror-like device to check the level and type of obstruction at the iris-cornea junction.

Another super simple examination is known as pachymetry. It's considered painless and quick: we measure the thickness of your cornea by placing a "pachymeter" probe over your eye, and, well, that's it. It only takes about a minute and requires no work on your part.

Protect your sight and enjoy a clearer, brighter future by contacting us today

If you notice any changes in your vision, experience abnormal ocular sensations, or have any concerns, please reach out to us today at Focal Point Vision. We're happy to offer you various effective treatment options so you don't have to suffer discomfort and loss of vision.

The earlier you schedule a consultation, the better and easier your outcome will be, should we detect the presence of glaucoma. Don't hesitate to contact us or visit one of our San Antonio locations.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.