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Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain and is vital for good vision. Damage to the optic nerve typically occurs when eye pressure is abnormally high. Any changes to the optic nerve can reduce peripheral (side) vision and lead to potential blindness. Any vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible.
Glaucoma is often said to be the “silent thief of sight” because many forms of glaucoma do not have any symptoms. The most common type of glaucoma has no early warning signs and can only be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. Early detection and treatment is beneficial to slow the progression of the disease.
One facet of glaucoma testing includes measuring eye pressure. Although not exclusive, increased pressure inside the eye is often a key indicator of glaucoma. Another important tool to help diagnose and monitor glaucoma is visual field testing. A visual field test can identify peripheral vision changes as well as any abnormal blind spots or scotomas. Visual field testing is performed in-office and is fast, safe, and non-invasive. Our eye doctors will check for a number of signs of glaucoma as part of our detailed eye examinations.
Although glaucoma can develop in anyone, there are specific risk factors to be mindful of: