Five Ways to Detect Glaucoma:
Author: Colin Rea (M.D Magneticos Eyewear)
Early detection, through regular and complete eye exams, is the key to protecting your vision from damage caused by glaucoma. A complete eye exam includes five common tests to detect glaucoma.
It is important to have your eyes examined regularly. Your eyes should be tested:
- before age 40, every two to four years
- from age 40 to age 54, every one to three years
- from age 55 to 64, every one to two years
- after age 65, every six to 12 months
Anyone with high risk factors should be tested every year or two after age 35.
A Comprehensive Glaucoma Exam
To be safe and accurate, five factors should be checked before making a glaucoma diagnosis:
|Examining…||Name of Test|
|The inner eye pressure||Tonometry|
|The shape and color of the optic nerve||Ophthalmoscopy (dilated eye exam)|
|The complete field of vision||Perimetry (visual field test)|
|The angle in the eye where the iris meets the cornea||Gonioscopy|
|Thickness of the cornea||Pachymetry|
Regular glaucoma check-ups include two routine eye tests: tonometry and ophthalmoscopy.
Tonometry measures the pressure within your eye. During tonometry, eye drops are used to numb the eye. Then a doctor or technician uses a device called a tonometer to measure the inner pressure of the eye. A small amount of pressure is applied to the eye by a tiny device or by a warm puff of air.
The range for normal pressure is 12-22 mm Hg (“mm Hg” refers to millimeters of mercury, a scale used to record eye pressure). Most glaucoma cases are diagnosed with pressure exceeding 20mm Hg. However, some people can have glaucoma at pressures between 12 -22mm Hg. Eye pressure is unique to each person.
This diagnostic procedure helps the doctor examine your optic nerve for glaucoma damage. Eye drops are used to dilate the pupil so that the doctor can see through your eye to examine the shape and color of the optic nerve.
The doctor will then use a small device with a light on the end to light and magnify the optic nerve. If your intraocular pressure is not within the normal range or if the optic nerve looks unusual, your doctor may ask you to have one or two more glaucoma exams: perimetry and gonioscopy.
Perimetry is a visual field test that produces a map of your complete field of vision. This test will help a doctor determine whether your vision has been affected by glaucoma. During this test, you will be asked to look straight ahead and then indicate when a moving light passes your peripheral (or side) vision. This helps draw a “map” of your vision.
Do not be concerned if there is a delay in seeing the light as it moves in or around your blind spot. This is perfectly normal and does not necessarily mean that your field of vision is damaged. Try to relax and respond as accurately as possible during the test.
Your doctor may want you to repeat the test to see if the results are the same the next time you take it. After glaucoma has been diagnosed, visual field tests are usually done one to two times a year to check for any changes in your vision.
This diagnostic exam helps determine whether the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open and wide or narrow and closed. During the exam, eye drops are used to numb the eye. A hand-held contact lens is gently placed on the eye. This contact lens has a mirror that shows the doctor if the angle between the iris and cornea is closed and blocked (a possible sign of angle-closure or acute glaucoma) or wide and open (a possible sign of open-angle, chronic glaucoma).
Pachymetry is a simple, painless test to measure the thickness of your cornea — the clear window at the front of the eye. A probe called a pachymeter is gently placed on the front of the eye (the cornea) to measure its thickness. Pachymetry can help your diagnosis, because corneal thickness has the potential to influence eye pressure readings. With this measurement, your doctor can better understand your IOP reading and develop a treatment plan that is right for you. The procedure takes only about a minute to measure both eyes.
Why Are There So Many Diagnostic Exams?
Diagnosing glaucoma is not always easy, and careful evaluation of the optic nerve continues to be essential to diagnosis and treatment. The most important concern is protecting your sight. Doctors look at many factors before making decisions about your treatment. If your condition is particularly difficult to diagnose or treat, you may be referred to a glaucoma specialist. A second opinion is always wise if you or your doctor become concerned about your diagnosis or your progress.
Posted: November 14, 2018
Author: Colin Rea
I remember the day it happened, I looked down at my phone and thought, “Wow! It’s blurry. What’s wrong with my iPhone?”
If you’re over 40, you’re probably chuckling, that is, if you can read this text.
About 50 million Europeans need reading glasses in order to make reading up close possible and enjoyable, however, roughly 20 million people painfully resist getting reading glasses because they think that they will make their eyes weaker. We’ll talk about that in a minute. Others buy them, misplace them, buy them again, lose them yet again. The annoying cycle repeats a few more times until they finally give up.
Presbyopia is the technical term for farsightedness–not being able to see things up close. As we age, we gradually have changes occur in our eyesight. Typically, our eyes’ lenses lose elasticity and flexibility, making it more difficult to focus on fine print and other details when an object is held close to our eyes. For instance, you might have to ask a drugstore clerk to read the back of the prescription bottle for you. That’s a sign you need reading glasses.
How else do you know if you really need reading glasses? For me it was when I realized I can’t read the menu (especially in low light), my smartphone, a prescription bottle, or even a book without extending my arms fully. Here are some other tell-tale signs that can help you determine if reading glasses are for you.
- Headaches: if you’re getting headaches and your eyes feel tired, it could mean a pair of reading glasses are needed. Eyestrain is a sign that your eyes need glasses. But now, let’s tackle that common misconception: if I wear reading glasses my eyes will get weaker. Your eyes won’t weaken from wearing reading glasses because the problem isn’t caused by muscle weakness. Presbyopia is caused from the crystalline lens in your eye stiffening as we age.
- Book Test: one easy test is too observe how far you have to extend a book away from your eyes in order to read the text clearly. If you can’t seem to get it far enough away, reading glasses will be your new best friend.
- Task Test: if things like sewing, playing cards, reading fine print on a label in your kitchen, or even seeing your food in low light at the dinner table are hard to do, a pair of reading glasses would likely bring clarity to these tasks and make them more enjoyable.
- Print Test: taking a one-minute test on the Magneticos website, from the comfort of your home or office, can help you see if you need reading glasses and which strength would be best for you. You simply print the eye test chart from your computer and hold it 14 inches away from you. Then read it without wearing any glasses. The first line that is difficult for you to read will correspond to the lens strength that best suits you.
- Eye Doctor Exam: a visit to the eye doctor is always recommended in order to test for more serious conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes, or cataracts. But if you’re just trying to determine if you need reading glasses, noticing changes in the overall health of your eyes can provide some insight in between doctor visits.
Once, you know reading glasses are what you need, where do you get a pair?
Reading glasses are readily available at drugstores, big warehouse stores or your eye doctor’s office. But since you don’t wear reading glasses all of the time, one critical factor is having them close by when you really need them. And only one brand has made that possible.
Magneticos are the perfect first pair of reading glasses because they simply stay on your neck at all times whether you choose FlexiBand, RigidBand or Hawks. Magneticos let you determine when and how often you need reading glasses by experimentation. So no more trips to the drug store to replace your lost glasses. And hey, they aren’t your grandma’s readers. They’re kinda fun and cool.
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