Optiko: Your Source for Glaucoma Assessments in Calgary BC
When it comes to glaucoma, you don’t have time to waste. At Optiko, we offer comprehensive eye exams for glaucoma, complete with tests that can help us detect the disease early on, helping you take steps toward preventing vision loss.
Glaucoma is a family of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve and, if left untreated, can lead to severe deterioration of vision and even blindness. It is Canada’s leading cause of blindness, so regular eye exams screening for glaucoma are important for keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Patients with glaucoma typically have no symptoms until they’ve lost some vision, so it’s important to get regular checkups with an eye doctor who can diagnose the disease early on, so you can avoid more serious consequences down the line.
Glaucoma is a disease that can affect patients of any age, but it is more common among older people over the age of sixty. The only way to diagnose glaucoma is to take a comprehensive eye exam where your doctor will check your eye pressure and look for damage to the optic nerve. If there is any damage to your optic nerve, then you may have glaucoma.
Your eyes are the windows to your soul and at Optiko, we want to make sure they’re healthy and functioning properly so you can enjoy your life to the fullest. Our optometrists have been trained in all aspects of eye care, from routine vision exams to treatment for eye disease and injury. Our team will work with you to develop a comprehensive glaucoma management plan that protects your vision and maximizes its potential.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a family of eye diseases which cause progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve, located at the back of your eye. The optic nerve is critical to your ability to see as it connects your eyes to your brain. This means that if it’s damaged by glaucoma, your vision will be too.
The most common form of glaucoma occurs when the fluid which circulates inside your eyes stops draining properly. This causes a buildup of fluid which increases intraocular pressure (the pressure inside your eyes), resulting in irreversible damage to the delicate and easily-damaged nerve fibres of your optic nerve. As your optic nerve becomes progressively more damaged, your quality of vision will slowly deteriorate. This typically begins with harder-to-notice peripheral vision loss, and then subsequently spreads to your central vision.
There is no cure for glaucoma, however, with proper diagnosis in its early stages, interventions such as certain medications and various surgical options can prevent further damage and eyesight can be preserved.
Types of Glaucoma
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
Open-angle glaucoma is a common type of glaucoma. It occurs when the aqueous fluid in the eye’s front chamber drains too slowly, causing intraocular pressure to build up. The result is damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.
The condition usually develops slowly over time as your optic nerve becomes damaged. In most cases, open-angle glaucoma does not cause pain or redness in the eye.
Normal-tension glaucoma, also known as “low-tension” or “normal-pressure” glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s optic nerve is damaged without an increase in intraocular pressure. It typically occurs when your optic nerve becomes damaged from factors such as poor blood flow to the optic nerve.
Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma
Unlike other forms of glaucoma, acute angle-closure glaucoma is a sudden and often painful rise of pressure within the eyes. It happens when the drainage angle between your iris and cornea narrows, halting the circulation of fluid within your eyes and rapidly increasing intraocular pressure. Symptoms of this form of glaucoma include blurry vision, a headache, pain in the eyes, and nausea.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated immediately. If you suspect you may be suffering from this condition visit your nearest emergency room right away.
Secondary glaucoma includes types of glaucoma that occur as a result of another disease or condition. It can be caused by various factors, such as a blow to the head, inflammation or injury of the eye, certain drugs such as steroids and advanced cases of cataracts or diabetes. This category includes various subtypes of glaucoma, such as congenital glaucoma.