Glaucoma Early Detection
Community Eye Center utilizes Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging to assist in the early detection and monitoring of glaucoma. The OCT uses special digital scanning techniques to photograph and measure the structure of the retinal and optic nerve. The exam is quick, painless and non-invasive.
The patient’s first OCT images act as a baseline, which can be compared to subsequent images. The optic nerve is made up of more than one million nerve fibers. The OCT gives us a detailed look at the eye’s nerve fibers, so we can observe the very subtle changes to these fibers that are indicative of glaucoma. This means we can make a glaucoma diagnosis earlier. This is especially important because although a high-pressure reading is common with glaucoma, it is not always present.
The OCT also enables us to determine those patients who may have increased eye pressure, but not glaucoma; and therefore, spare them the expense of medication and additional testing.
It is recommended that a person should be checked for glaucoma:
- Before the age of 40, every 2-4 years
- Between 40-54, every 1-3 years
- Between 55-64, every 1-2 years
- Above age 65, every 6-12 months
Just in recent years, glaucoma medications have greatly improved. There are relatively new groups of glaucoma medications which are both safe and effective at lowering eye pressure and treating the disease; these medications have fewer side effects than previous medications.
In some cases when medications aren’t working, laser surgery can be an option. If surgery is required, there’s just no need to travel an hour or more for these techniques. Expertise and experience can be found locally at St. Lucy’s Outpatient Surgery Center, the surgery center for Community Eye Center.
Glaucoma can happen slowly; sometimes people are not aware that they have it until a significant amount of vision loss. Everyone is at risk for glaucoma and there may be no warning symptoms. Early detection and watchful, lifelong treatment can preserve vision in most people affected by glaucoma.
Learn more about types of glaucoma here, or…