If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, have been told that glaucoma is suspect, or are in a high-risk category for glaucoma, regular exams are highly recommended. With early detection and careful management, significant damage to your eyesight from glaucoma is nearly always preventable; however, treatment cannot restore any vision that has already been lost. So, careful management of this disease including regular dilated eye exams is essential to maintaining your vision.
At Bennett & Bloom Eye Centers, our doctors use the very latest technology to identify glaucoma. The diagnosis of glaucoma is not always clear-cut and simple, since individuals vary in their susceptibility to eye pressure. We’re always careful to consider any additional risk factors that may contribute to your possibility of vision loss from glaucoma. Family history, general health problems, including diabetes and anemia, as well as prior eye trauma and race are all risk factors. We ask that you bring a list of any risk factors, allergies, your medical history, insurance information, your eyeglasses if any are worn, and any medications you are currently taking, especially eye drops, to your appointment. New patients may also want to fill out our new patient and medical history forms prior to your visit as a time saving measure. In order to thoroughly evaluate your eyes, they will be dilated. Some patients report blurred vision following the use of these drops. For this reason, we suggest that you ask a friend or relative to drive you home from your evaluation.
Several tests will be performed at your exam. Since increased fluid pressure in the eye plays a significant role in glaucoma, we begin by checking your intraocular pressure. Recent studies show that corneal thickness may play a role in the pressure reading obtained in your eye. An instrument called a pachymeter uses ultrasound to measure this thickness. Since the optic nerve is the area that becomes damaged in glaucoma, we take color photographs to monitor any changes. Our state-of-the-art high-definition OCT measures the fibers around the optic nerve to assess the amount of damage. This test may help to determine if you have glaucoma even before any vision loss occurs. We also test the peripheral and central vision using a computerized visual field analyzer. Gonioscopy is a procedure that will help assess the drainage channel of the eye to help determine the specific type of glaucoma present.
Some of these tests may need to be repeated in future office visits to assess if the current treatments are preventing the progression of glaucoma. Even if you are not on medication but appear suspicious for developing glaucoma in the future, it is important to check these tests periodically to see if treatment needs to be initiated. Most, if not all, of these tests are usually covered by insurance.
Click here to contact us for an evaluation.