Glaucoma is commonly referred to as the silent thief of sight, as it picks away at peripheral (side) vision without any observable symptoms or pain. The only way to spot and diagnose glaucoma early – and thereby maximize the percentage of vision retained – is through a thorough eye health exam.
If untreated, patients will eventually become tunnel blind, which can be hugely disorienting and impactful on day-to-day living. However, with a bi-annual eye check (at the least), you stand a strong chance of obtaining that crucial, early diagnosis.
Your doctor will spend 30-45 minutes performing a series of tests which are designed to:
Using a process called tonometry, your doctor will measure the pressure of your inner eye. A key indicator of glaucoma is an IOC which is out of the normal bounds. It is not a conclusive test in its own right, but is usually very indicative of any existing glaucoma.
The angle at which your iris meets the cornea determines the effectiveness with which the eye drains fluid. Around 9/10 patients with glaucoma suffer from the so-called “open angle” variation, where this angle is quite large. Other types of glaucoma have normal or particularly narrow angles, so it’s an important diagnostic tool. These angles are measured using gonioscopy.
Glaucoma attacks the peripheral vision. By using a series of coordinated flashing lights and recording your responses to them, it is possible to paint a picture of any deficiencies in your side vision.
Using ocular coherence tomography and a slit-lamp exam, we can view the retina and optic nerve in exceptional detail. Glaucoma often leaves tell-tale signs of swelling or inflammation in this area, so a quick assessment can aid diagnosis.
Since there is no cure for glaucoma (of any kind), our recommendations will focus on managing progression and limiting symptoms. The only real treatment available is based around lowering the intraocular pressure to a normal level, which has been shown to be effective at reducing the rate of peripheral vision loss.
Repeat pressure reductions are likely, as this is not a permanent solution. It may be necessary to adjust your day-to-day routine or lifestyle to compensate for the disease, and we can help you make that transition with as much ease as possible.
We are conveniently located at the corner of Peachtree Parkway and South Clement Rd, at the entrance to Creekstone Estates, in the Villages at CreekStone (near the intersection of HWY 141 and Old Alpharetta Rd).