Nicknamed “the silent thief of sight”, glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable blindness and vision loss around the world. This eye disease generally involves having higher-than-normal pressure of the fluid inside your eyes. As glaucoma progresses, it can damage your vision. If left untreated for even a few years, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
During the early stages of this ocular disease, you may not notice any symptoms. That’s why regular comprehensive eye exams are critical! They are the only way to detect the onset of glaucoma, before it causes any problems. Dr. Lucy Yen, your expert and compassionate optometrist in San Jose, will perform precise glaucoma testing as a part of your eye exam.
Early Diagnosis of Glaucoma Allows Early Treatment
Dr. Lucy Yen will use cutting-edge diagnostics to spot the beginning signs of glaucoma, way before you experience any signs of the disease. Immediately upon diagnosis, we will begin progressive glaucoma treatment in our San Jose eye care center. In general, the sooner we start – the more successful it will be!
Who is at Risk for Glaucoma?
A number of risk factors play a role in the development of glaucoma, with aging being one of the most powerful causes. Once you are over 60 years old, your chance of developing glaucoma increases significantly.
In addition to age, glaucoma risk factors include:
- Hypertension or diabetes
- Using steroid inhalers to treat asthma
- Extreme nearsightedness (myopia)
- Family eye history; be sure to inform our optometrist if any family members have been diagnosed with glaucoma
- Hispanic, Latino or Asian descent, particularly in older population groups
- African Americans over the age of 40
- History of eye injury or trauma (this can lead to secondary open-angle glaucoma)
How Does Dr. Lucy Yen Test for Glaucoma?
The main indication of glaucoma is increased intraocular pressure. However, other symptoms may also point towards the presence of glaucoma, and our San Jose optometrist will inspect for all of these signs by checking your retinal tissues and optic nerve thoroughly. Dr. Yen will dilate your eye to administer this exam.
Dr. Yen will use a tonometer to measure inner eye pressure. Either this is done by placing a small probe gently on the surface of your eye or by using a specialized device that blows a mild puff of air across your eye. A high result points to a buildup of fluid in your eye, yet this number alone is not enough to diagnose glaucoma.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT Scan)
OCT or an alternate method of digital imagery is used to view clear images of your optic nerve. Our San Jose optometrist may repeat this imaging procedure over time, which allows us to compare the results to detect any changes. Differences in the images may be a sign of progressive glaucoma damage, and this information is essential for designing the most effective, personalized treatment plan.
Visual Field Test
A visual field can detect blind spots in your peripheral vision. We will ask you to place your head in front of a machine and look straight ahead. When you see a signal in your peripheral vision, you will need to notify us.
Does Glaucoma Present Symptoms?
The main types of glaucoma are narrow-angle and open-angle, which is more common. Generally, open-angle glaucoma attacks peripheral vision first (with no pain), which is why people do not notice the symptoms immediately. Once this eye disease advances, it can move beyond the periphery and damage central vision. Unfortunately, symptoms of vision loss in your center field mean that the glaucoma is at a more severe, dangerous stage. This type of vision loss cannot be restored.
Don’t wait until you lose vision from glaucoma – schedule regular eye exams with Dr. Lucy Yen to detect eye disease when it starts!
The primary goal of all glaucoma treatment is to reduce or stabilize intraocular pressure, which will ideally prevent damage to the optic nerve. The type of treatment depends heavily upon the type of glaucoma.
The first line of treatment is usually medicated eye drops. It is essential to apply these eye drops regularly, according to your optometrist’s instructions. Depending upon how severe the glaucoma is, treatments also pills, include laser surgery, conventional surgery, or a combination of the above.
Low Vision Aids & Glaucoma
While there is no way to restore vision loss caused by glaucoma, Dr. Lucy Yen can improve your quality of life with a variety of Low Vision Aids. As your leading Low Vision specialists in San Jose, we will meet with you to assess your visual needs. Together, we will choose the best strategies and low vision devices to help you to do all the things you love!