A number of patients ask why we advise certain tests, such as Visual Fields or optic nerve imaging, HRT/OCT, on a regular basis. These tests are done on individuals with glaucoma and those at risk for glaucoma or other serious eye diseases.
The goal of frequent testing is to detect and treat vision loss or optic nerve damage before it affects a person’s life and becomes permanent.
The visual field test detects unnoticed side (peripheral) vision loss before it affects a person’s daily life. This test may need to be repeated every 3 to 12 months depending on your risk of developing vision loss as determined by your doctor.
The optic nerve is the part of the eye damaged by glaucoma. Photographing or examining the optic nerve with the HRT/OCT computer at regular intervals allows your doctor to detect early damage to the optic nerve.
Untreated glaucoma can cause optic nerve damage and loss of peripheral vision that can result in blindness. The tests described above are the best way to detect and monitor this disease. If these tests show abnormalities, your doctor can then start or modify treatment to prevent further damage and loss of vision.
It is important to remember that in diseases like glaucoma, early identification and treatment is important. Any associated loss of vision is permanent, it cannot be recovered later. Persons with glaucoma are usually unaware of the damage that is occurring. Cooperating with your doctor’s recommendation for regular testing to detect this damage helps to maintain your vision.
Glaucoma medications are used to treat elevated pressure inside the eye and can be effective in delaying the onset of glaucoma. Glaucoma medications are prescribed to be used at various times during the day depending on the type. Be compliant with your medication by following the prescribed medication schedule that is given. Compliance is extremely important and while frequently using drops may seem simple enough, it is often difficult for patients to apply the drops correctly. A how-to video and several tips to properly administer glaucoma medications can be seen below.
If necessary, your physician may recommend laser treatment or surgery and in some cases, you will continue to use glaucoma medications even after these procedures.
- LPI (Laser Peripheral Iridotomy)
- ALT (Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty)
- SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty)
- Conventional or Incisional Surgery