Regular Checkups with Your Optometrist Can Catch Glaucoma When It Is Treatable
Texas is one of the 49 states that allows your optometrist to be involved in glaucoma detection and treatment. Your optometrist can take additional training to become qualified to manage glaucoma and help patients save their sight. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions by your optometrist at Today’s Vision Conroe.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma can be acute, coming on suddenly, usually causing considerable pain, and quickly damaging sight. Glaucoma can also be chronic, causing no noticeable symptoms, causing advanced and uncorrectable damage if you neglect your annual eye exams.
How does my optometrist test for glaucoma?
Part of what your optometrist does in your annual eye exam is to measure your intraocular pressure with an instrument called a tonometer. Your eye doctor will put some anesthetic drops in your eye and then have you lean forward with your eyes wide open so the doctor can place the tonometer against your cornea. The measurement takes just a few seconds and is completely painless.
Is glaucoma really a serious condition?
Glaucoma is the second most common cause of irreversible blindness, after macular degeneration. In the United States, about 116,000 people are blind in both eyes due to glaucoma, and about 1.6 million have significant loss of vision due to the disease. Experts estimate that about half of the people who have glaucoma don’t know they have the disease.
Are there any symptoms that suggest I need to be seen by my eye doctor right away?
Intense eye pain with alterations in your vision is always a reason to be seen by an eye doctor immediately. Signs of chronic glaucoma, suggesting you need to check in with your optometrist sooner rather than later, include eye pain, redness, and seeing halos around bright lights. You are at greater risk for glaucoma if you have diabetic retinopathy or if you have ever had eye surgery.
What can your Doctor of Optometry do for glaucoma?
Texas laws still require laser surgery and other surgical procedures to be performed by an ophthalmologist (for whom your optometrist can make the referral), but your optometrist can monitor your glaucoma and prescribe any eye drops you need. In problem cases, there is no problem with sending to you to a nearby ophthalmologist for specialized care.
Don’t put off your appointment with your Doctor of Optometry until it is too late.
Today’s Vision Conroe is dedicated to providing the optometrist care you need with the comfort and convenience you deserve. Call us at (936) 788-2600 or request an appointment today online. The offices of Today’s Vision Conroe are located at 2257 N Loop 336 W #150, Conroe, TX 77304.