Understanding Your Glaucoma Diagnosis

Understanding Your Glaucoma Diagnosis

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness throughout the world, and it already impacts about three million Americans. If left unmanaged, glaucoma can steal your sight, but with the correct treatment, you can work to preserve it and our Bainbridge Eye Care team strives to do that. Led by experienced professionals, Nicanor Lacsina, O.D., or Yelena Pinkhasova, O.D, Bainbridge Eye Care has been diagnosing and treating glaucoma for 20 years in the Norwood neighborhood of Bronx, New York City. 

If you’re newly diagnosed with glaucoma, you might have questions about the condition, and that’s okay! Keep reading to learn about glaucoma, including its causes, diagnosis, and treatment options.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to your optic nerve, which can lead to vision loss and blindness if left untreated. It often occurs when there is an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) or the pressure inside of your eye. 

 

If the pressure inside your eye is too high, it can damage your optic nerve over time. Your optic nerve is responsible for sending electrical messages to your brain, which your brain then interprets as images, so if that nerve is damaged, it can’t send the proper electrical signals to your brain.

The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma but there are other less common forms, such as angle-closure glaucoma.

Causes of glaucoma

While elevated intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for glaucoma, it's not the only cause. Other factors that may contribute to glaucoma include:

Genetics

A first-degree family history of glaucoma can increase your risk of developing the condition by nine fold. In another patient sample, researchers found that 60% of glaucoma patients had a family history of the condition.

Age

Glaucoma is more common in older individuals, with the risk increasing significantly after age 40.

Ethnicity

Some ethnic groups, such as African Americans and Hispanics, have a higher risk of glaucoma.

Eye anatomy

The physical structure of your eye can affect your risk. For example, a thinner cornea or a shallower anterior chamber angle can increase your susceptibility to angle-closure glaucoma.

Diagnosis of glaucoma

If you've recently received a glaucoma diagnosis or if you suspect you may have the condition, don’t be dismayed. An estimated 50% of people with glaucoma don’t realize they have it, so if you already have a diagnosis, you’re already on the path to glaucoma management. 

Early detection and diagnosis of glaucoma are crucial for preventing vision loss. 

Here's what you can expect during a glaucoma evaluation:

Eye examination

The first step in reaching a glaucoma diagnosis is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam. During your examination, Nicanor Lacsina, O.D., or Yelena Pinkhasova, O.D., measures your intraocular pressure, inspects your optic nerve, and assesses your peripheral vision.

Tonometry

This test measures your eye's pressure. Elevated pressure does not always indicate glaucoma but is a significant risk factor. Several types of tonometry tests include air-puff tonometry and Goldmann tonometry. Regardless of which test you use, the process is the same: by applying a small amount of pressure to your cornea, our team can assess the pressure in your eyes.

Ophthalmoscopy

Your Brainbridge Eye Care doctor will use a special instrument to examine your optic nerve for signs of damage. This test is quick and painless, although it requires using a bright light near your eye.

Visual field test

This test assesses your peripheral vision to detect any loss that may indicate glaucoma. This test can detect any scotoma (blind spots) in your field of vision.

Gonioscopy

This exam helps determine the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea, which is essential in diagnosing angle-closure glaucoma.

How is glaucoma treated?

The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower intraocular pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve. 

Treatment options may include:

When you first receive your glaucoma diagnosis, you may experience various emotions. You might feel surprised (especially if you didn’t have any symptoms), or you may worry. While a  glaucoma diagnosis can be concerning (and should never be minimized), it’s important to remember that early detection and the appropriate management can often prevent or minimize vision loss. 

If you have concerns about your eyes, would like to schedule a glaucoma screening, or suspect that you have glaucoma, don’t hesitate to call Bainbridge Eye Care at 718-306-9127. You can also book an appointment online.



You Might Also Enjoy...

Tips for Getting Rid of Red Eyes

Tips for Getting Rid of Red Eyes

If you’re struggling to get rid of red eyes, you’re not alone. It’s a common complaint and one that has many potential causes. Read on to learn what causes red eyes and what you can do to reduce redness.
 Seven Things Diabetics Should Do to Protect Their Eyes

Seven Things Diabetics Should Do to Protect Their Eyes

Diabetic complications extend beyond your blood vessels. Diabetic complications can impact your vision, but thankfully, there are things you can do to protect your eyes. Read on to learn about seven action steps you can take today.
 Glaucoma Runs in My Family — What Should I Do?

Glaucoma Runs in My Family — What Should I Do?

Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness, and learning that this condition runs in your family can be overwhelming. If you have family or personal risk factors for glaucoma, read on to learn what to do next.
 Why You Shouldn't Ignore Seemingly Mild Vision Changes

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Seemingly Mild Vision Changes

Mild vision changes aren’t something you have to deal with. Getting the correct treatment can help you see clearly and comfortably again. The benefits don’t end there. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t ignore vision changes.
When to See a Specialist About Red Eyes

When to See a Specialist About Red Eyes

You might be tempted to use eye drops to mask red eyes, but is that all you should do? Read on to learn the common causes of red eyes and ten signs it’s time to see a specialist about them.