Glaucoma affects 250,000 Canadians – but only half of them know that they have it. It is the second most common cause of vision loss in people over 65. Your risk of developing glaucoma increases with each decade after age 40 – from around 1% in your 40s to up to 12% in your 80s.
There are several different types of glaucoma, all characterized by damage to the eye’s optic nerve, which connects the retina to the brain. If the optic nerve is damaged, it cannot send electrical impulses to the brain to produce a proper image.
There a variety of tests to check for glaucoma. At our office, we measures pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure); corneal evaluation; angle evaluation, and examining the retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye.
Glaucoma Technology in office
Eye Pressure is measured with the Reichert 7CR “The Glaucoma Tonometer”
Reichert Technologies utilizes Corneal Compensated IOP (IOPcc) is a better indicator of glaucoma than other methods of determining eye pressure.
The Reichert 7CR is more clinically valid in all subjects, including:
- Normal Tension Glaucoma patients
- Primary Open Angle Glaucoma patients
- Post-LASIK and refractive surgery patients
- Patients with Fuchs or Corneal Edema
- Keratoconus patients
- Patients with thick, thin, or otherwise biomechanically atypical corneas
The Canon CR-2 Plus image is as unique as you fingerprint and provides us with a look at the health of your retina.
The Canon CR-2 Plus Digital Retinal Imaging provides:
- A high resolution image of the retina including the optic nerve, macula and the health of the blood vessels allowing for the confirmation of a healthy eye vs. detection of disease.
- A permanent record for your file, which allows us to view your images each year to look for changes.
- The opportunity for you to view and discuss the image of your eye with your doctor at the time of your exam.
- Special feature Fundus Autofluorescence (FAF) imaging: Helps with Geographic Atrophy, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy and other conditions that can affect vision may also be identified and
- monitored using FAF mode. These Metabolic changes at the level of photoreceptor/RPE complex may not be visualized by other routine imaging techniques.
Visual Field Analysis – Zeiss Humphrey Matrix.®800 for early visual loss detection
- Used to detect changes in your peripheral vision. A visual field is used for diagnosis and management of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and systemic conditions such as a brain tumors or strokes.
- A screening field is done on each patient at the time of initial testing.
Non-modifiable risk factors are things you can’t change:
- Increased age
- Female gender
- Naturally high levels of pressure in the eye
- Family history of glaucoma
- Ethnicity: People of African or Hispanic descent have a greater risk of open angle glaucoma. Those of Asian or Inuit descent have an increased risk for other types of glaucoma.
You can change modifiable risk factors:
- Manage diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Protect your eyes from injuries and infections.
- If you have other risk factors, talk to your eye doctor before using antihistamines, antidepressants, dilating eye drops or steroids, or beginning a weight training program
Treatment usually involves eye drops to lower the pressure in your eye. In some cases, you may need laser or conventional surgery if eye drops are not effective.
Since glaucoma often has no symptoms, there is no pain, and vision loss isn’t noticeable at first. If left untreated, glaucoma causes a growing area of vision loss in your peripheral vision. Having regular eye exams is the single most important thing you can do to prevent it.