Glaucoma is a condition caused by elevated fluid pressure within the eye. If the fluid does not drain adequately, pressure can build-up, causing damage to the optic nerve and eventual loss of sight. One of the dangers of glaucoma is that there are often no symptoms until vision loss becomes apparent. Consequently, it is important to have regular eye exams that include testing to measure intraocular pressure.
Fox Valley Ophthalmology offers the newest technology to diagnose glaucoma. The GCX nerve fiber analyzer creates a color-coded 3-dimensional thickness map of the optic nerve to help detect changes relevant to glaucoma. This data, along with the standard pressure check (tonometry), and visual field testing (perimetry) help doctors diagnose and successfully treat glaucoma.
Although glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, early diagnosis, careful monitoring and treatment can often prevent significant vision loss. Treatment to control elevated pressure may consist of medical eye drops, laser treatments or surgical procedures. Current advances in treatment options promise great hope to glaucoma patients in the near future.
Those at higher risk to develop glaucoma are:
- Over 60 years old
- People of African descent
- Relatives of people with glaucoma
- Hispanics in older age groups
- Very nearsighted (myopia)
- People with diabetes
- People with extended steroid use
- People with thin central cornea
It is recommended that people at high risk for glaucoma, especially people of African descent over age 35 and all people over age 60, receive an annual comprehensive eye exam including dilation.