Glaucoma Specialist in Laureldale, PA

There are many ways to lower the risk of glaucoma and subsequent vision loss, but the most important way is to get a comprehensive eye exam every year. If you work or live in Laureldale, PA, a glaucoma specialist at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania is in nearby Wyomissing ready to see you.

How can I protect my eyes?

While anyone can get glaucoma, people over the age of 60 are at higher risk. African Americans are also at greater risk; over age 40, African Americans are actually 6 to 8 times more likely to get glaucoma. People with diabetes are also at risk and twice as likely to develop glaucoma. People with high blood pressure are also at risk.

High-risk patients must get a comprehensive dilated eye exam each year. Caught early, glaucoma can be effectively diagnosed and early treatments can start. Prescription eye drops are often given to lower the internal eye pressure and stop glaucoma from progressing. Follow-up exams are needed, and oral medications or laser surgery may also be recommended.

The most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, is hereditary. It often has no symptoms, so eye exams are very important.  If you are a smoker, quit smoking to lower your glaucoma risk.

What is the exam like?

Our glaucoma specialists recommend a baseline eye exam at age 40. This exam is important for screening for not only glaucoma but other eye diseases. The exam may include one or more of the following tests.

Tonometry is done to measure the internal eye pressure. This is more commonly known as the puff test, where a puff of air is delivered to the surface of the eye. The tonometer measures the resulting pressure. A normal pressure is 12-22 mm Hg, and doctors usually diagnose glaucoma if the results exceed 20mm Hg.

Eye pressure is unique to each individual, so tonometry alone cannot diagnose glaucoma. It is possible for someone to have glaucoma with an eye pressure under 20 mmHg. Opthalmoscopy is another test which allows the doctor to examine the optic nerve for damage. We will use eye drops to dilate the pupils, which allows the doctor to better see the internal eye structures. A small lighted device magnifies the optic nerve for closer visual examination.

The above two tests are the most commonly used tests. If the doctor sees anything unusual with the optic nerve, he or she may do tests called perimetry and gonioscopy. Perimetry is more commonly known as a visual field test. You will look into a dome and a light spot is presented in different areas. This creates a map of your vision. Since peripheral vision is usually first to decline with glaucoma, this map helps the glaucoma specialist see where your vision is.

Gonioscopy is done using a contact lens that is placed on the eye so that the doctor can examine the iris and cornea to look for signs of glaucoma. The eyes are numbed for this test.

Come see our glaucoma specialist

This may seem like too many tests, but glaucoma is difficult to diagnose. These tests provide the doctor with a careful and comprehensive optic nerve evaluation. The results drive both the diagnosis and the treatment. Just remember that a baseline eye exam at age 40 is very important, so if you’re in Laureldale, PA, our glaucoma specialist is right here in Wyomissing, ready for you to be our next new patient. Give us a call or schedule your eye exam today.

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