More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma. This common eye disease often develops long before you have any symptoms, which is why early diagnosis is essential in delaying its progression. At Ypsilanti Vision, Tiffany Zair-Yalda, OD, and the dedicated team of professionals use advanced imaging and visual field tests to find glaucoma before it causes symptoms. They can monitor your disease and prescribe treatment to help you keep your eyesight. Call the Ypsilanti, Michigan, office or book your appointment online.
Glaucoma is an eye disease involving optic nerve damage. Your optic nerve — the nerve that transmits visual signals to the brain — typically sustains damage when your inner eye drainage system gets increasingly clogged and the fluid level rises within the eye.
Glaucoma can cause vision loss and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. However, with regular eye checkups and early diagnosis, you can prevent vision loss.
There are two types of glaucoma:
More than 90% of glaucoma cases are primary open-angle glaucoma, in which your eye pressure increases slowly over time. It takes a long time to progress, which is why patients who don’t get regular eye exams are often surprised when they start losing peripheral and, later, central vision.
Open-angle glaucoma is painless. Because it rarely causes symptoms, it’s important to have your regular comprehensive eye exams at Ypsilanti Vision so your eye doctor can check for changes inside your eyes.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a rare and serious form of the disease involving a sudden eye pressure increase. Slow drainage causes open-angle glaucoma, but with acute angle-closure glaucoma, you have no drainage because the angle between your iris and cornea closes.
This causes sudden symptoms such as:
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is urgent. If you don’t get medical care immediately, you could lose your eyesight.
Ypsilanti Vision uses a couple of different tests to identify the early signs of glaucoma. A visual field test is one important factor in early diagnosis.
In this test, your optometrist checks your whole visual field, including peripheral and straight-ahead vision. Glaucoma usually affects the peripheral vision first, so a change in your side vision can be an important indicator of glaucoma.
The team also uses the onsite optical coherence tomography (OCT) machine for glaucoma diagnosis. OCT imaging works like a CT scan for your eyes. It creates a 3D map of your eyes that your optometrist can then study to identify changes indicative of glaucoma or other eye diseases.
Your optometrist may prescribe eye drops that prevent disease progression. Eye drops can improve your eye drainage or reduce fluid production to help decrease your intraocular pressure (IOP).
If eye drops don’t help lower your IOP, you may need other treatments, such as laser therapy or surgery.
Book your glaucoma assessment by calling Ypsilanti Vision or using the online scheduler.