Keeping your eyes healthy is essential for your overall wellness, and routine eye exams are important for maintaining the clarity of your vision. Routine eye exams ensure you are seeing clearly and are necessary for the early detection of many vision-threatening eye conditions.
One of the most concerning eye conditions that people often worry about is glaucoma. Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma, including whether or not eye doctors test for glaucoma during routine eye exams!
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can lead to optic nerve damage and, if left untreated, can cause irreversible vision loss. This damage is primarily caused by increased intraocular pressure, which can damage the optic nerve.
The optic nerve transmits visual information from the eyes to the brain. There are different types of glaucoma, but primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common.
It often progresses without any noticeable symptoms until significant vision loss has occurred. The best way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma is to visit your eye doctor at VisionFirst Eye Center for routine eye exams so they can detect it early and provide a treatment plan.
What Happens During a Routine Eye Exam?
During a routine eye exam, your eye doctor will perform a series of tests to assess the overall health of your eyes and your vision. These tests include:
Visual Acuity Test
This test assesses how well you can see at various distances using an eye chart.
This test measures the pressure within your eyes. Elevated intraocular pressure can be an early sign of glaucoma.
The eye doctor may use eye drops to dilate your pupils, allowing them to examine the optic nerve and other internal structures more thoroughly.
Visual Field Test
This test checks your peripheral vision, which is often affected by glaucoma.
Using a special tool called an ophthalmoscope, the eye doctor examines the optic nerve for signs of damage.
Through these tests, your eye doctor can thoroughly evaluate your eyes and determine if you may be at risk for any eye conditions.
Can You Be Diagnosed with Glaucoma During a Routine Eye Exam?
Eye doctors can detect glaucoma during a routine eye exam. Elevated intraocular pressure, optic nerve damage, and visual field defects are some of the indicators that may lead an eye doctor to suspect glaucoma.
If these signs are detected, further testing and evaluation may be required to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, additional imaging tests, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), may be recommended to assess the health of the optic nerve more precisely.
How Do Eye Doctors Treat Glaucoma?
All glaucoma treatment aims to lower intraocular pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your eye doctor will develop a treatment plan to help stop the progress of the condition.
Eye drops or oral medications can be prescribed to reduce eye pressure.
Procedures like selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) or laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) can help improve eye pressure levels.
If medications and laser therapy are not effective, your eye doctor may recommend surgical options like trabeculectomy or drainage implants.
Regular follow-up appointments are crucial for monitoring the condition and adjusting the treatment plan as needed. Since glaucoma is a chronic condition, early detection and consistent management are key to preserving vision.
Routine eye exams are not just about updating your eyeglass prescription; they also serve as a means of safeguarding your eye health. While glaucoma can be a silent threat, the comprehensive tests conducted during these exams can potentially lead to early diagnosis and intervention.
Remember, taking care of your eyes is vital to maintaining your overall quality of life.
Is it time for you to have a routine eye exam? Schedule an appointment at VisionFirst Eye Center in Birmingham, AL, today!