A common question asked when patients come into the office is, "What is glaucoma?". Most people have heard of the issue, but are unsure of what exactly glaucoma is and how it is detected. A disease of the optic nerve, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in America. The optic nerve is the nerve that sends messages from the eyes to the brain.

How to Detect Glaucoma

As glaucoma continues to develop, progressive nerve damage occurs, affecting the individual’s peripheral vision. Eventually, it can cause tunnel vision and lead to irreversible blindness. The only way to detect glaucoma is with a comprehensive eye exam. An eye care specialist can analyze a patient’s eyes to identify if intraocular pressure, fluid pressure or abnormal optic nerve appearance is present.

Typically a slow-growing disease, glaucoma is difficult to identify until permanent vision loss of some sort has occurred. Many folks do not notice their drastic visual loss because it progresses over many years. While glaucoma may seem like one disease on the surface, there are actually several different types (Source: Wikipedia):

  • Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma
  • Normal-Tension Glaucoma
  • Developmental Glaucoma
  • Pigmentary Glaucoma

Due to glaucoma’s potentially life-damaging consequences, early detection is essential for the best outcome. Early detection comes from undergoing comprehensive eye exams regularly. This way, your eye care specialist will be able to identify potential issues before they grow into a disease that reduces quality of life. Contact Providence Eye & Laser Specialists today and let our experienced eye care specialists provide you with the most thorough, comprehensive eye exam you have ever experienced. Our complete vision care abilities have put us at the forefront of ocular patient care throughout the Charlotte region, and we are proud to offer all patients with the safest, most precise exams in the area.

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