Published on: 15 May, 2011
Around the year 1625, scientists noticed that the eyeballs of some people who were blind or severely vision impaired felt harder or more solid than normal eyeballs. This was likely the first step towards the discovery of glaucoma, one of the common eye diseases we check for at Mountain View Optometry. Glaucoma is particularly worrisome because there are usually no symptoms at all during the early and middle stages of the disease. It’s only until the later stages that people start to notice something’s wrong with their vision, and by then it’s usually too late.
Risk factors for glaucoma include age (although it can occur at any age), high internal eye pressure readings, family history, a history of trauma or injury to the eye, and other physical findings in the eye that are found during regular eye examinations. We used to look only at the eye pressure, usually measured with an air puff test at the beginning of the eye exam, when determining if someone had glaucoma, now we know it’s much more complex than that. Even people with “normal” pressures have been found to have glaucoma. Our advanced equipment allows us to find glaucoma at the earliest possible stages, and the good news is that if we do find it, it can be treated quite effectively in most cases. Treatment for the most common type of glaucoma usually involves prescribing special eye drops designed to lower the pressure within the eyes.
The biggest concern to us is the fact that there are still many people who do not come in regularly to have their eyes checked, assuming nothing must be wrong as they are not having any problems such as pain, discomfort or vision problems. With conditions like glaucoma, this is a dangerous assumption. We have the technology and expertise to prevent vision loss from many common eye diseases. Spread the word about preventive eye exams – ensure you and your family are getting the professional care they need.