Glaucoma, often referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” is an extremely dangerous eye disease and has become the leading cause of blindness worldwide. What makes this disease particularly perilous is that it usually doesn’t exhibit symptoms in its early stages. In fact, over 3 million Americans currently have glaucoma without being aware of it. That’s why receiving regular eye exams is crucial, as early detection can significantly reduce the risk of blindness.
Florida Eye Center, one of the leading optometrist groups in Tampa, has successfully diagnosed and treated thousands of glaucoma cases. This article aims to explore how an eye exam can assist in diagnosing glaucoma and provide an overview of the various glaucoma treatments available to Tampa residents.
Glaucoma encompasses a wide range of diseases, with the two most common types being open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma, the most prevalent form, progresses gradually over time and often exhibits no visible symptoms. This particular type is especially dangerous because it remains undetected until significant damage has already occurred. On the other hand, angle-closure glaucoma is characterized by a sudden blockage of fluid drainage in the eye, leading to increased intraocular pressure. Regardless of the type, glaucoma causes peripheral vision loss and, if left untreated, can result in complete blindness.
During an eye exam, your eye doctor will conduct a variety of tests to assess your vision. The combination of these tests provides them with the necessary information to diagnose glaucoma or any other underlying eye conditions.
This test is used to evaluate the intraocular pressure in your eye. It indicates increased resistance to the outflow of aqueous material. While a high intraocular pressure alone is not sufficient to confirm glaucoma, several other tests must be performed to accurately assess the condition.
The visual field test helps measure an individual’s ability to detect light or objects in their visual field. Glaucoma deteriorates peripheral vision over time, this test helps identify early onset glaucoma but also shows its progression over time.
An optical coherence test provides a high-resolution image of the optic nerve and retinal layer, allowing assessment of the thickness of the optic nerve, and if any damage has occurred to it.
A gonioscopy evaluates the angle between the cornea and the iris to determine the likelihood of drainage blockage. By visualizing the eye drainage angle, optometrists can determine if it is blocked or closed, which may indicate glaucoma.
By dilating the eye, an eye care professional can obtain a comprehensive view of the optic nerve, retina, and blood vessels in the eye. This examination helps assess for signs of damage, cupping, or thinning, which are indicative of glaucoma.
All the services mentioned above are routine and are done by most eye care professionals at a patient’s annual exam. What sets Florida Eye Center apart is the relationship we have cultivated with our patients and the community as well.
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