Keeping our Orange County patients safe with Glaucoma testing

Glaucoma is a challenging eye disorder for those who may have it, as this condition typically shows no significant early signs. The impact of this challenge is that glaucoma can, when not properly treated in its early stages, eventually lead to extensive damage to the optic nerve. Should the optic nerve become severely damaged by glaucoma, blindness may occur. Currently, glaucoma is topped only by cataracts as the leading cause of blindness.

Before glaucoma can reach this level of severity, we can catch it during examinations in our Orange County practice, during which a standard glaucoma test is performed. We encourage our patients to obtain examinations at least once every year–more frequently should there be an ongoing eye condition, or heavy predisposition to the development of conditions such as glaucoma.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that the most common form of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma, which approximately 2.2 million Americans face. Current estimates are that, by 2020, 3.3 million Americans will develop this type of glaucoma, which is more prevalent in African-American and Latino individuals.

The effects of glaucoma begin well before total blindness is possible, which allows us time to begin treatment that may at least slow the progression of visual impairment. Early treatment is important, as recent studies show.

In one study, conducted at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan, a group of glaucoma sufferers participated in a driving simulation. The results of this study, revealed at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting, showed that those affected with glaucoma were involved in twice as many accidents as participants with good vision. One of the specific hazards to glaucoma sufferers is objects that might enter the scene quickly from the side, like another vehicle or a child.

The perceived reasoning for such results is that glaucoma affects peripheral vision before causing significant issues with central vision. The importance of this information is that many people with glaucoma actually do quite well in a standard vision acuity test during an annual eye exam, as this test focuses on straight-on distance vision.

To keep our patients safe and catch glaucoma early, we perform various tests on eye pressure, as well as visual field testing. In this particular test, the patient stares into a machine, where a black dot is positioned straight on. A blinking light periodically appears in various areas of peripheral and central vision, and the patient clicks a button when he or she spots the blinking light. What we are able to determine through visual field testing is if blind spots are developing or worsening.


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Through multiple approaches to testing, we seek to discover eye conditions as early as possible. Contact us to learn more about our testing processes or to schedule your eye exam with Dr. Salib.


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