Monday: 8:45 AM to 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 8:45 AM to 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:45 AM to 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:45 AM to 5:00 PM
Friday: Office Closed
Saturday: By appointment only
319 Main St,
Emmaus, PA 18049
Alpha Optical Inc.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. The optic nerve is connected to the retina, the tissue lining the back of the eye that's
composed of several layers of cells. The optic nerve, made up of approximately one million nerve fibers, transmits signals from the retina to the brain, where these signals are interpreted as the images that you see.
Everyone over age 60 has an increased risk for glaucoma in addition to those individuals who have relatives with glaucoma. Heredity, ethnic, and racial background may play a part in determining the risk.
If you're determined to be at risk for glaucoma, other tests will be performed including:
Every person over age 50 should have their eye pressure checked yearly.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Most types of glaucoma have no signs or symptoms until the disease is far advanced, at which time visual problems will be noticed.
Glaucoma, in most cases, can only be detected by regular, routine eye exams. During a routine eye exam, screening for glaucoma will be performed, consisting of measuring your eye's pressure and examining your optic nerve. Many types of glaucoma are associated with increased pressure, although there are some individuals with
glaucoma that have normal eye pressure.
Inspection of your optic nerve is important in diagnosing glaucoma because this is where damage occurs. This is usually performed with a magnifying lens after dilating drops are placed in your eyes. Sometimes, stereo photographs of your optic nerve are taken for monitoring progression of the disease.
There are two broad categories of glaucoma: Open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. In open angle glaucoma, the drainage angle is open, but doesn't function properly. Vision loss from open-angle glaucoma tends to happen slowly over years and generally affects the peripheral vision first. If left untreated, it can result in total loss of vision.
In closed angle glaucoma the fluid inside the front of the eye cannot drain out through the anterior chamber angle because it's being blocked by iris tissue, the colored part of the eye. If this condition develops gradually over time it's
called chronic angle closure glaucoma and no signs or symptoms may be present.
If this condition develops suddenly it is called acute angle closure glaucoma with symptoms of eye pain and redness, blurred vision, headaches, vomiting, and the appearance of halos or rainbows around lights. Some patients will have a narrow drainage angle that predisposes them to the development of closed angle glaucoma. This condition can be diagnosed during your routine eye exam.
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There is currently no cure for glaucoma, but it can be controlled, if detected early. Treatment includes eye drops and laser treatment to lower eye pressure, as well as surgery in advanced cases.
Viewing of the drainage angle of the eye (gonioscopy), the doctor will use a mirrored lens to inspect the drainage angle of your eye and determine the type of glaucoma, open or closed angle.
Measuring the central corneal thickness (pachymetry), this test is performed with a small probe after numbing drops are placed in your eyes.
Visual field test that measures your central and peripheral vision. You'll be seated with your head positioned in a bowl-shaped device and asked to focus straight ahead. One eye is tested at a time; an eye patch will be worn on the eye not tested. You'll be asked to press a button when you see flashing lights in your field of vision while focusing on a target.
These tests will need to be repeated at regular intervals to determine if glaucoma is developing or progressing.