Glaucoma Evaluations

Glaucoma is an eye disorder in which the pressure inside the eye is higher than normal. This is due to a decreased outflow of the liquid (aqueous) in the anterior chamber of the eye. This heightened level of pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve tissue. Over two million people in the United States have been diagnosed with glaucoma, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years. To help take care of your eye health, glaucoma evaluations are provided at Lowcountry Vision Care in Pawleys Island.

Glaucoma Symptoms

The difficult thing about glaucoma is that it doesn’t present any symptoms in its early stages. Because it can easily go undetected, it can progress until the optic nerve starts to atrophy, and your sight begins to diminish. Visual loss caused by glaucoma usually starts in the periphery and gradually moves centrally over time.

Glaucoma Testing

Comprehensive eye health evaluations at Lowcountry Vision Care include the measurement of intraocular pressure using an instrument called a tonometer. If the pressure measurement is outside of a normal range (higher than 21mmHg), it may be an indication of the presence of glaucoma. Other tests used to test for glaucoma include:

  • Visual field testing: measures the sensitivity of several points in your peripheral vision. Because vision loss related to glaucoma starts in the periphery, this test is helpful in diagnosing the disease. This test is also useful to help determine if the disease is progressing.
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT): measures the thickness of the optic nerve fibers.
  • Gonioscopy: allows your optometrist in Pawleys Island to view the anterior chamber angle of the eye. This helps to determine if there is any blockage that could be causing or increasing intraocular pressure.
  • Pachometer: measures corneal thickness
  • Computerized digital photography: documents the appearance of the optic nerve. Having a history of these images helps your eye doctor to determine if there is an atrophy of the optic nerve.

Glaucoma Treatment

Initial treatment for glaucoma will aim to decrease the intraocular pressure in the eye. Prescription eye drops will be provided to either increase the outflow of the liquid (aqueous) inside the eye or decrease its production. If these eye drops are not sufficient to get the disease under control, surgical techniques may have to be considered. You will need to have a consultation with a glaucoma specialist.

At Lowcountry Vision Care in Pawleys Island, we are dedicated to promoting your eye health. Glaucoma evaluations are one service we offer to aid in doing so.