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Although there are several types of glaucoma, some more common than others, they all bear the similarity that they cause damage to the optic nerve. In most cases, the damage occurs without pain or any other indication that anything may be wrong. The field of vision contracts and function is lost. For this reason, Chronic Open Angle Glaucoma often called the "Sneak Thief of Sight"!

Elevation of the intraocular pressure exerts a compressive effect on the optic nerve, reduction of blood flow to the nerve and damage occurs that cannot be reversed. Early detection is crucial to prevent loss of function!

Since glaucoma tends to run in families, having a family history should be your first clue to get yourself examined. There is some suspicion that glaucoma may be detectable at very early stages by genetic testing. More of the genetic indicators are being discovered and soon a test to check for susceptibility may be commercially available.

Treatment for glaucoma is often a combination of pharmaceutical drops to lower the pressure, laser treatment (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty) to improve the facility of outflow of the aqueous fluid inside the eye or the placement of a valve to relieve the pressure.

Dr. Robison is a fellowship trained glaucoma specialist so most of the glaucoma treatment at Pomerance Eye Center, P.C. is her undertaking. To determine the degree of disease and the extent of the damage, extensive diagnostic testing is done. OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) analysis of the optic nerve allows direct measurement of the thickness of the nerve layer at the back of the eye. Sequential testing will verify the stage and progression of the disease and the effectiveness of the treatment. Visual Field Testing actually measures the presence or absence of peripheral vision (vision off to the sides), the most significant thing to be affected. The loss is often in recognizable patterns clearly demonstrable on testing and this, too, helps to monitor the status of the disease and the effectiveness of treatment.

If glaucoma is caught early and effectively treated, vision is preserved and function maintained. However, loss of nerve tissue may result in irretrievable vision loss. Routine eye examinations will pick up the early signs of glaucoma demonstrating the importance of annual eye examinations.

For more information about Glaucoma, ask to speak to our Patient Counselor. We have or can direct you to plenty of information on this subject.