Visionary Eye Centre
501 Bethel Dr #101 Sherwood Park AB T8H 0N2 (780) 467-6688
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Visionary Eye Centre

- Synergy Wellness Centre

How Do Glaucoma Tests Work?

You may have heard of glaucoma before. You’ve probably heard that this eye disease affects older people or people who suffer from other vision issues. So, if you have good vision, why worry about it now?

Well, for starters, anyone can get glaucoma. In fact, about 50 percent of people who have glaucoma don’t even know that they have it. On top of this, it is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Glaucoma testing and prevention should be taken seriously.

The good news is, glaucoma can be prevented, tested, and treated. To keep your eyes healthy, strong, and free of eye diseases, make sure you get regular eye examinations

What is Glaucoma? 

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. This optic nerve damage is usually caused by high pressure in your eye and often results in vision loss and even blindness.

Types of Glaucoma 

There are many different types of glaucoma that are separated into 2 categories: Primary glaucoma and secondary glaucoma.

Primary glaucoma is categorized as such because they aren’t caused by anything specific. Types of primary glaucoma include:

  • Open-angle glaucoma
  • Normal-tension glaucoma
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Congenital glaucoma

When glaucoma is caused by another medical condition they are classified as secondary glaucoma. These include:

  • Neovascular glaucoma
  • Pigmentary glaucoma
  • Exfoliation glaucoma
  • Uveitic glaucoma

Risk Factors 

Anyone can get glaucoma, but you may be at an increased risk of developing glaucoma if you:

Common Symptoms 

Although the signs and symptoms of glaucoma may vary depending on the type and severity of your condition, there are common symptoms you can look out for. These symptoms include:

When to See a Doctor 

Glaucoma can be dangerous and lead to blindness if ignored or left untreated. Even with treatment, within 20 years approximately 20 percent of people who suffer from glaucoma experience partial or complete blindness.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is best to discuss your concerns with your eye doctor and get your eyes examined, which ensures that you receive the proper glaucoma testing and treatment.

If any of your symptoms are severe or last for a prolonged period, seek immediate medical attention or call 911.

Man with glaucoma sitting consulting with his optometrist for an examination both looking at a diagram of an eye with the disease

How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

Glaucoma testing and exams are painless, quick, and already part of your regular eye examination. During this examination your eye doctor will:

  • Test your overall vision
  • Dilate (or widen) your pupils and examine your eyes
  • Take photographs of your eyes so they can identify changes in your eye health over time
  • Complete specific glaucoma tests  

How does Glaucoma Testing Work? 

There are 5 main types of glaucoma tests. All 5 of the following tests should be completed before a diagnosis is made:

  • Tonometry- This test measures the pressure of the eye by applying pressure or a warm puff of air to the eye
  • Ophthalmoscopy- This procedure is done after the pupils are dilated. Your eye doctor can then check your optic nerve for glaucoma damage
  • Perimetry- This visual field test lets your doctor examine your complete scope of vision. This can help your doctor determine whether your vision has been affected by glaucoma
  • Gonioscopy- This exam uses a mirrored contact lens to allow your doctor to evaluate the angle of where the iris meets the cornea, which can point to either primary or secondary glaucoma
  • Pachymetry- This test measures the thickness of your cornea using a small probe. Although this test doesn’t diagnose glaucoma itself, cornea thickness may affect pressure readings determined in other glaucoma tests

Glaucoma Treatment

The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower pressure in the eye. This can be done in several ways, depending on the type and stage of glaucoma you are suffering from. Your doctor may prescribe any of the following glaucoma treatments based on your needs:

  • Eye drops
  • Oral Medication
  • Laser Surgery
  • Microsurgery

Preventing Glaucoma   

Although Glaucoma can’t be completely prevented, there are steps you can take to slow its progression and lower your risk of severe eye damage :

  • Get regular glaucoma eye examinations
  • Know your family’s eye health history
  • Follow your doctors’ instructions
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Wear eye protection

Dr. Aujla

Dr. Navjot Aujla is a born and raised Albertan, growing up right here in Edmonton. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta, she attended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in Philadelphia. Internship terms across the United States led Dr. Aujla to practice pediatric optometry, work at a veteran’s hospital in Connecticut, and an ophthalmology practice in New Jersey. Since 2011, Dr. Aujla has been both a co-owner and in-house optometrist at Visionary Eye Centre. She loves spending time with her family and travelling to new destinations.

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