How Glaucoma Affects Your Vision

“Glaucoma” is often called the “silent thief of sight,” and it is estimated that over one million people in the US have glaucoma…and don’t know it!

Since there are no symptoms typically associated with glaucoma, testing becomes critical. The diagnosis of glaucoma has become more like a puzzle in the sense that there are many pieces that make up the full picture of someone’s risk of developing this sight-threatening disease.  Factors that could contribute to glaucoma include:

  • Family history (9X more likely with a positive family history, especially if it on your mom’s side of your family)
  • Race (higher incidence in the Black and Hispanic population)
  • Degree of nearsightedness (risk goes up with higher prescriptions)

We incorporate some of the most advanced diagnostic procedures for glaucoma.  Testing could include:

  • Checking eye pressure
  • Ultrasonic measurement of the thickness of the front of your “cornea,” the clear front part of your eyes to help determine your “true” eye pressure
  • Assessment and (when needed) digital photography of your “optic nerve” in the back of your eyes
  • Visual Fields testing to check for changes in your peripheral vision
  • Nerve-Fiber analysis:
    • Use of a scanning laser to measure the thickness of the tissue around your optic nerve
    • Thinning of the “nerve fiber layer” in the retina has been identified as the earliest, irreversible change with glaucoma
    • Can pick up the earliest changes 5-10 years before it will show up on other diagnostic tests

When it comes to the most precious of our five senses, this is, perhaps, the greatest example of the cliché “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

Nerve Fiber Analysis