Glaucoma is an eye disease that may not present any symptoms until your eyes are already permanently damaged, and it can even lead to total blindness. Dr. Diana Zabarko, optometrist at Avant Garde Vision Center in Wayne, New Jersey, uses the latest technology to test you for glaucoma. Call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book appointment today to ensure that your eyes are healthy.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of your peripheral, or side vision. It usually affects both eyes, and if left untreated, it can lead to total blindness.
Glaucoma results from abnormal fluid buildup in your eye. The fluid, called the aqueous humor, gets blocked and cannot flow out of your eye as it’s supposed to do. The pressure damages the optic nerve, which works together with your brain to produce sight.
People with a family history of glaucoma are at higher risk for developing it, as are those of certain descent: African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian. Most of the time, it affects adults, but on occasion, doctors see children with glaucoma. Glaucoma may result infrequently from other conditions, including eye infections, injuries, or blocked blood vessels.
Glaucoma is a stealth disease, because symptoms are not readily apparent in its early stages. By the time vision is affected, the disease has already progressed.
Symptoms may include:
All adults, especially those over 40, should have an eye exam every two years. You may need a yearly exam if you have a family history of glaucoma or if you have health problems such as diabetes, which place you at greater risk of other serious eye conditions.
Dr. Zabarko uses the latest technology to diagnose glaucoma using a visual field test. You’ll sit in front of a machine that’s actually a computer, and the technician positions you so that your head doesn’t move during the test.
With one eye covered, you stare straight ahead at a bright yellow light. During the test, which lasts up to 10 minutes, lights flash at regular intervals off center, and you press a button every time you see a flash of light. Then you repeat the test with the other eye.
Dr. Zabarko also performs additional tests using a microscope and an ophthalmoscope that show a 3-D cross section of all of the parts of your eye to ensure that there are no signs of other diseases.
If Dr. Zabarko sees signs of glaucoma, she refers you to a trusted ophthalmologist. If it is in an early stage, prescription eye drops or an oral medication improves fluid drainage from your eye. In more severe cases, an eye surgeon can perform laser surgery or microsurgery.