Should You Schedule a Glaucoma Screening?
- Posted on: Jul 15 2018
There are several reasons why it is important to schedule routine eye exams. These screenings are valuable far beyond measuring your vision from one year to the next. When your eye doctor performs a comprehensive examination, all aspects of eye health are assessed, including your risk for future and potentially severe eye disease like glaucoma.
There is currently no treatment that can cure glaucoma. This eye disease is a prevalent cause of vision loss in our country and warrants prompt and consistent care to manage symptoms. With medication, eye drops, and, if necessary, eye surgery, eye doctors strive to slow the progression of visual deterioration. At the heart of management is screening. First, it is essential that we identify the level of risk for glaucoma. Then, it is critical that the right tests are performed.
One aspect of eye exams is discussing your health history. Your eye doctor should know if anyone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with glaucoma and if you have ever suffered an injury to your eye. You should also alert your eye doctor if you have hypertension. After age 40 and in light of other risk factors, tests to screen for glaucoma should be included into your routine exam.
There are various screening methods for glaucoma. Each provides us with insightful details about the structure of your eyes.
- This is a quick and simple test that delivers a burst of air to measure the level of pressure in the eye. Tonometry may also involve using a small instrument to press on the eye. If the latter is performed, it is done after numbing the eye with drops.
- During a dilated eye exam, ophthalmoscopy analyzes the shape and color of the optic nerve at the back of the eye. The optic nerve is the vital part of the eye that transmits visual data to the brain. When the pupil is dilated, it is possible to observe details of the optic nerve that indicate a need for further tests.
- Patients with glaucoma have increased intraocular pressure. It is essential to have an accurate reading of this measure, and the thickness of the cornea can affect the results of tonometry. Pachymetry evaluates the thickness of the cornea quickly and painlessly.
Glaucoma testing is a progressive process in which the results of one screening may lead to further evaluation. In addition to checking intraocular pressure and observing the optic nerve, peripheral vision and the angular structure of the iris and cornea may also be tested.
Schedule your glaucoma screening in our Winchester, VA office. Call 540-722-6200.
Posted in: Glaucoma