What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve of the eye. When damage to the nerve occurs, it blocks visual information to your brain resulting in permanent vision loss. As the damage progresses, the vision loss increases and can continue, if left untreated, until only central vision is left or in some cases, until the person is completely blind.
Am I at risk?
The exact causes of glaucoma are unknown. The older you get, the more likely you are to have glaucoma. If you’re over the age of 40 or have a family history of glaucoma, you are most at risk and we recommend you visit your Health Partners optometrist regularly to have your eyes checked.
Signs and symptoms
Glaucoma doesn't have any obvious symptoms and as a result it is estimated that 50% of glaucoma in Australia remains undiagnosed.
Symptoms of glaucoma may include:
- Blurred vision
- Seeing coloured rings around lights
- Poor night vision
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Pain and redness of the eye/s
Glaucoma can present in a number of different symptoms. However, in its earliest stages you may not experience any symptoms at all so it is important to have regular eye tests to rule our glaucoma. Any changes to your vision, no matter how small, shouldn't be ignored.
Glaucoma cannot be prevented but early detection allows it to be treated to reduce the risk of progression and vision loss. Most people won't even know that they have glaucoma until it's too late, as symptoms don’t appear until permanent damage has occurred.
Fortunately, at Health Partners Optical we have the latest technology that helps us detect glaucoma before symptoms occur. We work through a series of simple, painless tests and procedures, such as:
Visual field testing: a peripheral vision test used to determine your range and sensitivity of vision – how far around and how well you can see while fixing your eyes on one location.
IOP tests: measurement of the pressure of fluid in your eye. An elevated IOP can lead to damage to the optic nerve and a diagnosis of glaucoma.
Pachymetry: ultrasound and optical technologies to measure the thickness of your cornea. Those with thicker than average corneas have a reduced risk of glaucoma despite higher IOP readings.
Digital retinal photography: an accurate, pictorial method of monitoring any changes of the optic nerve head.
OCT: 3D imaging technology provides highly detailed internal imaging of your eye allowing your optometrist to see and measure the delicate structures of your eye and monitor any changes. It’s the ultimate tool for precise diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for glaucoma generally consists of prescription eye drops intended to prevent progression of glaucoma and reduce vision loss. In some cases, laser treatment surgery may be required.
If you’re concerned about your vision, book an eye test today.
We bulk-bill which means you won’t have anything to pay on the day.^
^Eye tests are bulk-billed through Medicare and subject to eligibility and Medicare conditions.