Top of the To-Do List in 2016: Prevent Glaucoma!

Taking a closer look at her patient's eyesThe New Year is here, 2016 is in full swing, and you are probably finding that your calendar is already filling up. It’s tempting to just make room in your busy week for the tasks that are immediate like home repairs, grocery shopping and a car tune-up, but there’s an important item you are forgetting! You need to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.

You may not be experiencing any complications with your vision, but that’s not a reason to put off your eye exam. Vision loss can happen gradually and is not always associated with pain or other symptoms, as is the case with glaucoma. Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that affect the optic nerve and can cause eventual blindness if not treated properly. Increased pressure inside the eye creates stress on the optic nerve. Vision damage from glaucoma is irreversible, so it is important to have consistent eye exams to detect and treat glaucoma as early as possible.

Glaucoma is difficult to self-diagnose, so it must be detected by your ophthalmologist. An accurate indicator of glaucoma is a painless pressure test called tonometry. Although increased pressure does not necessarily mean that you have glaucoma, you may be a “glaucoma suspect” and require further testing.  A classic case of a glaucoma suspect is an individual who has elevated eye pressure but is not experiencing a limited visual field. It is imperative that if you are a glaucoma suspect, you are in close communication with your ophthalmologist so he or she can monitor your vision and prevent eyesight damage. If testing reveals that you do indeed have glaucoma, immediate diagnosis will help preserve your vision (Source: Glaucoma Foundation).

Comprehensive eye exams can detect much more than glaucoma. They can help detect and diagnose cataractsmacular degenerationdiabetic retinopathy, and even chronic conditions like hypertension or diabetes. Eye exams are actually a window into whole-body wellness, so take advantage of this health check-up. Most eye exams are fully covered under your vision insurance, and a glaucoma test is a standard inclusion of a comprehensive eye exam.

Call your ophthalmologist today to schedule your comprehensive eye exam. If you do not have a qualified eye care professional in your area, please use our physician locator tool to contact one of our physician partners today!


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