Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, especially amongst older adults.
The most common form of the disease is open-angle glaucoma where the optic nerve (at the back of the eye) slowly becomes damaged and causes a gradual loss of vision without any early warning symptoms.
Most glaucoma patients have elevated pressure inside the eyeball (intra-ocular pressure). IGARD offers non-invasive ‘air-puff tonometry’ to determine intra-ocular pressure and tests to accurately evaluate the optic-nerve at the back of the eye to screen for signs of glaucoma damage. These tests are part of a Standard Eye Examination.
Some of the earliest signs of vision loss occur in the peripheral vision. IGARD is equipped with ocular perimetry tests to evaluate the sensitivity of the eye’s visual field and high definition optical coherent tomography (OCT) to assess the nerve fibre layers in the retina. These further tests will only be
recommended if a basic screening does not suffice.
Glaucoma in Medical Terms
In medical terms, glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy involving characteristic structural changes in the optic nerve and visual field defects. Risk factors include high eye pressures, family history, age and race.
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, your vision may not have been affected yet. The condition is usually asymptomatic, especially when the condition is still at its early stages of progression. It is therefore essential to follow your optometrist or doctor’s recommendations to keep your pressures under control.
Visual field refers to how wide-angle you can see!
Whilst a normal visual field should otherwise be approximately 135 to 170 degree wide, the field of vision becomes progressively constricted as glaucoma progress. In later stages, the constricted visual field is known as a ‘tunnel vision’ and blindness may be inevitable.
A normal visual field can be described in terms of its level of visual sensitivity. The most central part has the highest level of sensitivity – this is responsible for your 6/6 vision. The level of visual sensitivity is normally reduced towards the periphery. This has been described as an ‘Island of Vision’ when plotted on a graph, whilst surrounding it is a ‘Sea of Blindness’.
“Preventive Visual Health at IGARD is committed in the routine screening of glaucoma to prevent the lsland of Vision from sinking into the Sea of Blindness”.