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Screening & Treatment Options for Glaucoma

January 27, 2017

More than 2.2 million, or 1.9 percent of Americans age 40 and over have glaucoma. The risk of developing glaucoma increases significantly with age. Unfortunately, approximately half of all patients with glaucoma do not know they have it and will likely suffer unnecessary vision loss. Since glaucoma in its most common form seldom causes symptoms until the disease has progressed substantially, patients are generally unaware that they have glaucoma until it is diagnosed in the course of a comprehensive eye and vision examination.

Risk Factors: People with a strong family history of the disease, those of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent, people over 65, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted should be examined at an earlier adult age. Other risk factors are eye trauma and chronic steroid use.

Screening Recommendation: For people with a family history of glaucoma, a baseline exam should be done and, if no glaucoma is detected, it should be repeated every couple of years. People without risk factors should have an eye exam every couple of years. After age 65, people should have eye exams once a year. 

Type of Screening: The typical screening for glaucoma by just measuring intraocular pressure is largely ineffective. Even with normal eye pressure, a patient may have glaucoma. There is no substitute for a complete dilated eye exam. If glaucoma is suspected at that exam, then a complete glaucoma workup is instituted. 

Treatment Options:

Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in adults and the sooner it is detected and treated, the better the prognosis for minimizing damage to the optic nerve and retaining sight.

If you are at risk, schedule a visit today with the
Starling Eye Center: (860) 826-4460.