What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the U.S. This year, approximately 67 million people worldwide will suffer from glaucoma. Yet, approximately 2 million Americans don't even know they have the disease. Others will be diagnosed only when it's too late to save vision. You see, glaucoma is called the "silent thief of sight" because there is no pain. No noticeable symptoms. And no cure. the good news is glaucoma can be controlled and vision can be preserved if detected early. All you need is vital insight about the health of your eyes to successfully control this disease.
Get insight on the spot. Now there's a fast, comfortable and non-intrusive way to catch glaucoma earlier and track it: the GDX Access or the GDX Nerve Fiber Analyzer. GDX exams provide the earliest possible detection of glaucoma. In fact, GDX is the only glaucoma exam that evaluates the site of damage before you experience any vision loss.
What Does GDx Show?
The result of the GDX exam is a color-coded "thickness map" of the nerve fiber layer at the back of your eye. This provides vital insight that can't be obtained from other exams to help your doctor determine whether you have glaucoma.
Why is GDx Used?
GDX is used to test for glaucoma and to track the progression of the disease. If your doctor determines you have glaucoma, he or she will continue to use GDX exams to check for damage or changes in your condition. If you do not currently have glaucoma, but are in a risk group for the disease, your doctor may recommend that you be examined today and at regular intervals.
Who is at Greatest Risk?
Glaucoma can affect people of all ages and races. It is the leading cause of blindness in African-Americans. Those at greatest risk include:
- People over the age of 40
- African-Americans (particularly those over 35)
- Anyone with elevated intracular pressure
- People with a family history
- Long-term steroid users
- People who are very near-sighted
With regular exams and awareness of risk factors, you can avoid glaucoma. The conventional diagnostic techniques used to evaluate glaucoma include visual acuity and field tests, pupil dilation and tonometry. Morrison Eye Care was the first local optometry practice to utilize the revolutionary GDx analyzer tests for glaucoma. The GDx provides a quick painless and accurate exam of the nerve fiber layer in the tissue directly affected by glaucoma and detects early stages of glaucoma, for earlier treatment of the disease.
Although there is no cure for glaucoma, many effective treatments are available for the various types of the disease. In each case, however, early diagnosis is an important sight saving step because most glaucoma victims are not diagnosed until symptoms develop, and that is often too late for effective treatment. GDx testing enables Drs. Larry and Michael Morrison to detect glaucoma five to seven years earlier than other conventional tests, which means that there's far more time to treat it.
Medicines are the most common early treatment for glaucoma, either in the form of eye drops or pills. Laser surgery has become increasingly popular as a method of making a new opening that will allow the fluid to drain. The most common surgical option after laser procedures is called a trabeculectomy. It involves removing a section of the trabecular meshwork to encourage better drainage and reduce eye pressure.
For more information on glaucoma or to schedule an appointment, call the Morrison Eye Care office nearest you.