Glaucoma in Long Island
If you’re over 40 and don’t undergo routine eye health screenings, you may be at risk of developing an age-related eye condition like glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. The disease is associated with a buildup of pressure in the eye that damages the optic nerve — which is responsible for transmitting light from the retina to the brain.
Understanding the Types of Glaucoma
Glaucoma actually refers to a group of eye diseases affecting the optic nerve. There are several variants of the disease, but it comes in two main forms: open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.
(The “angle” referenced in both types refers to the drainage angle for fluid that is produced in the eye. Proper drainage is essential in order to maintain normal pressure levels in the eye.)
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of the disease and occurs as a result of fluid buildup in the eye. This increases intraocular pressure (IOP) which in turn damages the optic nerve.
Angle-closure glaucoma (also called closed-angle or narrow-angle glaucoma) occurs when the iris of the eye prevents normal fluid drainage. This can cause a rapid buildup of pressure as opposed to the relatively slow progression of open-angle glaucoma.
Are You at Risk?
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), more than 3 million Americans have some form of glaucoma. The professional eye doctors at TOC Eye® recommends that people aged 40 and older get a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years; especially if you have a family history of glaucoma. (If you’re over 60, you should be getting an annual checkup.) Although primarily associated with people over 40, glaucoma can occur at any age.
Studies have shown that race can be a risk factor in developing glaucoma. For example, African Americans are upwards of six times more likely to develop glaucoma than Caucasians. Your risk of developing the disease is increased further if you have diabetes, vision problems and/or have suffered some sort of eye trauma or injury.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is largely asymptomatic in the early stages of development. In fact, the AAO estimates that only half of the estimated 3 million Americans with glaucoma are aware they have the condition.
Oftentimes glaucoma goes undetected until the optic nerve has been damaged beyond repair. It is for this reason that TOC Eye® stresses the importance of routine eye health maintenance, especially for those at greatest risk of developing glaucoma.
When symptoms of glaucoma do appear, they may include the following:
- Vision loss
- Eye pain
- Tunnel vision
- Blurred vision
At TOC Eye®, we offer a variety of screening tests for glaucoma that are designed to measure peripheral and distance vision, the pressure inside the eye and the thickness of the cornea. We are committed to providing our patients with the most advanced, state-of-the-art technologies for diagnosis and treatment. Advanced glaucoma diagnosis tests include:
Perimetry testing (visual field testing) is the primary method for evaluating your peripheral vision. Glaucoma causes a narrowing of the visual field (tunnel vision), so perimetry testing helps to identify the degree of loss and/or the progression of the disease.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an advanced vision test that uses light waves to create a contour map of the optic nerve and optic cup, including cross-section images of the retina.
These advanced diagnostic technologies help our experienced ophthalmic team to develop the best course of treatment for managing your glaucoma.
Schedule Your Glaucoma Consultation
Call us today at 631-751-2020 or contact us via our web form to schedule a glaucoma consultation to learn more about how TOC Eye® can help manage your glaucoma care.