Glaucoma remains one of the leading causes of vision loss in Canada. Glaucoma describes a group of eye diseases that result from damage to the optic nerve. This is typically due to increased pressure in the eye.
While researchers continue to develop a cure to prevent this disease, there are methods by which optometrists can identify its onset and manage it accordingly.
As the optic nerve experiences damage, it can limit neural synapses to the brain, distorting vision and in many cases leading to total blindness. Tunnel vision may result from more mild cases of glaucoma, forcing the optic nerve to send modified signals to the brain. Any damage to the optic nerve as a result of glaucoma will result in negatively altered vision if not treated promptly and properly.
Glaucoma management is an essential part of visual health.
The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle or chronic glaucoma. The anterior chamber, which sits between the cornea and iris, can sit at a wide, open angle creating undue pressure on the optic nerve. The onset of this glaucoma type is gradual, slowly clogging the drainage canals of the eye and building pressure against the optic nerve.
Regular eye exams are essential in identifying chronic glaucoma early and remedying the disease before permanent damage prevails.
Comprehensive eye exams at Urban Optique are designed to discover signs of all types of glaucoma and assess the development of the disease. Treating glaucoma early in its progress is by far the easiest way to eliminate the negative effects.
People over the age of 40 are most susceptible to glaucoma and should see an optometrist regularly to monitor the health of their optic nerve and to survey if any signs of glaucoma are present.
The following factors can influence the ability to acquire glaucoma:
The eye may experience difficulties draining fluid if the angle of the anterior chamber narrows and prevents regular flow. The blockage can occur suddenly, leading to instant symptoms that may include severe eye pain, headaches, blurred vision, heavy tearing. An eye doctor should be consulted immediately if the sudden onset of any of these symptoms occurs. Acute glaucoma is most prevalent for those over the age of 40, those diagnosed with farsightedness, or those with Asian ethnicity.
Even though fluid in the eye drains properly and pressure within the eye is in normal range, damage to the optic nerve can occur. This damage is often only detected through eye tests with an optometrist. Urban Optique offers visual field tests and glaucoma-specific ophthalmoscopic procedures to address the development of normal tension glaucoma. This type of glaucoma is heavily influenced by family history, existing heart disease, and Japanese ancestry.
During the prenatal period an infant’s eye drainage canals may not develop completely. This is evident by clouded eyes, enlarged eyes, heavy tearing, and obvious sensitivity to light. Eye testing for infants can detect the presence of glaucoma and direct next steps such as microsurgery or laser surgery. When administered early, these procedures are most often successful at correcting the condition.