According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in Canada. Glaucoma refers to the breakdown of the optic nerve (aka the power cord to the eye). The exact cause of glaucoma is unknown but it is associated with increased pressure in the eye however, glaucoma can even occur in people with normal eye pressure.
Glaucoma causes IRREVERSIBLE vision loss (which can lead to blindness) and usually has no signs or symptoms associated with it. In most cases you will not notice any vision loss or eye pressure until it is too late.
During your eye exam eye we check your eye pressure and look at the structures inside your eye. If needed our office is equipped with a visual field machine and special camera (optical coherence tomography) which can diagnose or rule out glaucoma.
Risk factors for glaucoma include family history (especially on mom’s side), high blood pressure, diabetes, trauma to the eye and age (over 60 years old).
The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection. The sooner we can detect glaucoma the sooner we can intervene and prevent progression. Eye drops are usually the first line of treatment for glaucoma but if they do not work surgical options are available.