Glaucoma is a painless disease that can if left untreated cause blindness! Glaucoma generally is a condition in which the pressure inside the eye is to high for its structures. In particular this elevated pressure can put to much stress on the nerve that transmits sight (The optic nerve) and lead to blindness by damaging this nerve over time. Glaucoma has been nicknamed the "silent thief of sight" because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long time and occurs without any symptoms at first. Once a person notices their vision loss from glaucoma they are nearly blind because it steals from the outside and slowly works its way towards the center vision. Once lost, this damage cannot be reversed. A comprehensive eye examination is the only way to screen and accurately diagnosis glaucoma in its early stages when there is a chance at saving vision. Our practice screens every patient with several tests that allow us to diagnosis glaucoma in its early stages such as FDT (a standardized check of the visual field), Fundus photos (to closely watch the optic nerve for changes year to year) and a check of the intraocular pressure with NCT/GAT (or ICARE/TONOPEN XL).
If you are found to have glaucoma or appear suspicious for having it our practice possess cutting edge diagnostic equipment that will allow us to make the earliest diagnosis possible with the best information currently available to provide the best treatment to save the most vision.
Below is a list of our major diagnostic equipment pieces utilized during a more indepth glaucoma evaluation: (This information can also be found on our “Equipment” Tab along with the many other instruments our practice offers)
Diopsys NOVA ERG and VEP
The Diopsys Nova ERG (Electroretinogram) and VEP (Visual Evoked Potential) is an instrument that places our practice on the cutting edge of disease management. This instrument, which is still nearly only present in specialty clinics, is a great example of our practices commitment to providing our community with access to the best technology available in eye care. This devices allows the measurement of how well the optic nerve (The nerve that connects the eye to the brain and transmits sight) and retina (The sheet of receptors that collects light in the back of the eye) are conducting signals. This devices goes beyond finding damage and gives information on how stressed the receptors are giving our doctors the ability to treat conditions such as Glaucoma before damage has even occurred as well as see how well the treatment is actually working once initiated.
Ocular Response Analyzer G3
The Ocular Response Analyzer G3 is an instrument which allows the Intraocular Pressure (the pressure of the inside of the eye) to be analyzed without having to make contact with the eye itself. This allows us to accurately screen for conditions such as glaucoma (a condition where the pressure of the inside of the eye is to high for the eye’s nerve). This instrument also provides us with state of the art parameters to better manage glaucoma such as Corneal Hysteresis (The measure of how well the eye acts as a shock-or is able to tolerate changes in eye pressure over time). Beyond this device our office also has a variety of instruments to aid in eye pressure measurement such as the Icare tonometer, the Tono-Pen XL or Goldmann Applanation Tonometry- which each have their own individual strengths with certain clinical presentations.
Cirrus HD OCT
OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) is a high definition ocular scanning instrument which is quickly becoming the standard for retinal disease diagnosis, management, and treatment. The technology has elevated our level of care by providing views of the ocular structures in a microscopic way the human eye cannot. The analysis software allows us to compare measurements over time and determine if any statistically significant changes have occurred.
Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer
The Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer is a more in depth testing of the visual field (or the side vision); a more expedited test of this is completed during every eye examination called the “FDT”. Our visual field tester is recognized as the standard of care and cutting edge of documenting and detecting ocular conditions that result in visual field loss. This latest generation analyzer with its advanced software, decreased test times, improved handicap accessibility, and early detection strategies allow our doctors to practice therapeutic optometry to its fullest scope.