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Glaucoma is a disease that develops when the pressure inside the eye increases to the point where it presses against the optic nerve and causes permanent vision loss. Most people who have glaucoma have significantly increased intraocular pressure (IOP), but some people can develop glaucoma even with mild increases in IOP.
Glaucoma doesn't cause any symptoms in its early stages, and for many people, the first indication they have the disease is when vision loss begins to occur. Because glaucoma causes no symptoms at first, having regular comprehensive eye exams is the best way to ensure the disease is caught early, when it's most treatable.
The “air puff” test is the most common method used to evaluate elevated IOP. In this painless test, a very small puff of air is expelled against your eye to measure the pressure inside your eye. While the air puff test can be very accurate, it's also important to have a dilated exam so the inside of your eye can be evaluated. A dilated exam uses special eye drops to widen your pupil so the inside of your eye, including your optic nerve head and retina, can be seen more clearly.
In many cases, glaucoma can be treated with eye drops designed to help reduce the IOP. Drops may need to be administered a few times each day to maintain a lower pressure inside the eye. When drops are not effective, surgery may be needed to help provide better drainage for the excess fluid that contributes to an increased IOP.
Yes, the disease is more likely to occur in people over the age of 60, as well as those with a family history of the disease.
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"Excellent service! Marina was very knowledgeable, accommodating. In my experience this was the most comprehensive eyes examination and consultation I've got so far."
I have been going here for years for my eyewear. The girls who work here are always so nice. "