At Hackensack Eye Care Center our ophthalmologists and eye surgeons provide examination, diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma including eye drops and laser treatment for glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye problem that can damage the optic nerve and cause loss of vision. Most serious eye problems typically produce some symptoms that make patients uncomfortable or disturb their vision, but the most common type of glaucoma begins without any symptoms or obvious loss of vision. It is critical to diagnose and treat glaucoma as early as possible through regular eye examinations in order to prevent vision loss as with early detection and diagnosis, in the vast majority of cases, glaucoma can be treated and controlled.
Glaucoma Risks & Types
Depending on your general health, eye health and family history, a number of factors may increase your likelihood of developing glaucoma. An increased risk of glaucoma occurs when you have higher than normal intraocular pressure (IOP), being above 40 and especially above 60 years of age, being of African-American descent or Hispanic and above 60 years of age, being extremely nearsighted, having high blood pressure or diabetes and especially anyone who has a family history of glaucoma is at considerably greater risk. Prolonged use of oral contraceptive birth control pills, as well as the early onset of menopause, may increase glaucoma risk in women. In addition, anyone suffering from sleep apnea needs to be carefully examined as this condition significantly increases glaucoma risk. If you have had trauma to your eyes such as from a sports injury or car accident, or if you have been treated for asthma or other conditions for long periods of time with steroid inhalers, or have a corneal thickness less than 0.5mm, you too might be at greater risk of developing glaucoma. The two main types of glaucoma are Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG), and Angle Closure Glaucoma.
Patients with Primary Open Angle Glaucoma usually have an increase in Intraocular Pressure (IOP) upon routine measurement, called Tonometry. Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma is one of the only types of glaucoma that causes obvious symptoms that may include pain, light sensitivity, redness, blurred vision, colored haloes around lights and nausea or vomiting and is a medical emergency. If you have these symptoms please call Hackensack Eye Care Center at 201-342-5191 for an immediate appointment.
Glaucoma Testing & Diagnosis
During your examination, we may perform a number of tests in order to make the most accurate diagnosis of glaucoma. These include Tonometry to measure eye pressure, Ophthalmoscopy to carefully examine the inside of the eye – especially the optic nerve, Visual Field testing using computer bowl-like instrument to evaluate your “side” or peripheral vision to see how sensitive your side vision is in various directions, Gonioscopy to directly observe the health and condition of the angle of your eye where the Iris meets the Cornea, OCT or “optical coherence tomography” digital imaging of the optic nerve and retina, and Pachymetry or corneal thickness measurement as corneal thickness can alter the accuracy of the measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP) and it appears that patients with thin corneas may be inherently more likely to develop glaucoma.