Glaucoma is a set of eye diseases that can silently steal vision. In fact, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, it ranks as number two of the most common causes of blindness. Regular eye exams can spot this condition in its early stages. If you need to schedule an exam, contact Harrington Vision at one of our two Florence, SC, locations. You will get professional care from a friendly staff plus glaucoma screenings and treatment.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma can produce higher pressure in your eyes, which could damage the optic nerve. This nerve is crucial for sending signals about what you see to the brain. Damage to the nerve impacts your vision, though you may not realize it at first. In fact, most people do not have any symptoms or notice the subtle vision changes that happen in the early stages of the disease.
As glaucoma progresses, peripheral vision is the first to diminish in acuity. Over time, the field of vision shrinks even more until eventual blindness sets in. While this seems like a dire prediction, you can get treatment for it in the early stages to prevent it from getting worse.
How Does an Eye Doctor Test for Glaucoma?
Most people will undergo screenings for glaucoma if they fall into a high-risk category. Those at an increased risk include:
- People with glaucoma that runs in the family
- Black or Hispanic people over 40
- People of other races or without other risk factors over 60
An eye doctor will routinely screen for glaucoma during a comprehensive eye exam portion known as the dilated eye exam. You will have drops put into your eyes to keep the pupils dilated so the optometrist can look into the eye for signs of damage. Visual field acuity tests to monitor your peripheral vision and tonometry to measure your internal eye pressure are other tests you may have to see if you have glaucoma.
If you do receive a diagnosis of glaucoma, it does not mean that you will go blind. In fact, the sooner you get a diagnosis, the earlier you can start treatment to prevent the pressure in your eyes from increasing. Eye doctors typically start treatment conservatively with eye drops or oral medications. If these don't work, you may need laser surgery or filtering surgery to drain the eyes of extra pressure. With intervention, you can save your sight.
Your Search for an Eye Doctor Ends Here
If you have not had routine eye exams in a while or need a new eye doctor, phone one of our Harrington Vision locations in Florence, SC. Our optometrists do comprehensive eye exams that can screen for glaucoma. Plus, if you have a diagnosis of this condition, our eye doctors can monitor your eye health and refer you to an ophthalmologist if you need surgery. We care for the health of your eyes and your vision. Make us your trusted partner in keeping your eyes healthier through regular exams.