After cataracts, glaucoma is the next leading cause of blindness worldwide. Glaucoma is caused by numerous eye issues that result in gradual vision loss caused by damage to the optic nerve. Even though high eye pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma, glaucoma can also occur in the presence of normal eye pressure, which is why it’s important to undergo yearly glaucoma testing at our Spokane optometry office. There are two major types of glaucoma in adults: primary open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. The most common form is open-angle glaucoma and happens when the pressure inside the eye increases due to fluid back-up. As this pressure builds up over time, the optic nerve is damaged and the result is permanent and irreversible loss of vision. Closed-angle glaucoma is more rare and occurs when your eye’s drainage canals get blocked causing a quick increase in pressure inside the eye.
According to research, and our Spokane optometry office, individuals at high risk for glaucoma should have a dilated pupil eye examination at least every two years. For the majority of glaucoma cases there are no apparent symptoms until the optic nerve is damaged and peripheral vision is lost. It is this reason that regular eye exams are critical to detect and treat the disease. We use several diagnostic tests at Vision Arts Eyecare Center to detect glaucoma and these tests are much more thorough and reliable than what is known as a glaucoma screening.
Since too many cases of glaucoma go undetected and untreated, attempts have been made to create effective screenings for glaucoma, and these screenings are often conducted by laypersons and students. In addition to often being ineffective and inaccurate in detecting the disease, glaucoma screenings are also problematic because they may, unintentionally, stop people from seeking proper diagnostic testing at our Spokane optometry office. A general screening can detect glaucoma but they are simply not inclusive enough to show other eye conditions that need to be diagnosed and treated by our eye doctor, such as refractive error, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, etc. When full and proper testing is conducted, like the exams offered at Vision Arts Eyecare Center, not only can glaucoma be caught early on, but other vision threatening conditions as well. Just be aware that a comprehensive eye exam is the best and most conclusive way to detect glaucoma, enabling you to get the important treatment you need to save your eyesight.