What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.

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Dr. Steven Schendel, MD, FRSC (C), Ophthalmologist discusses glaucoma and how it is treated.

Quiz: Do You Understand Glaucoma?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

Glaucoma damages your optic nerve fibers over time.

Explanation:
Glaucoma is an eye disease caused by a buildup of intraocular pressure (IOP). Your eyes have clear liquid that flows in and out, but if you have glaucoma, this liquid doesn’t drain properly, causing this buildup of IOP pressure. As glaucoma progresses, it damages more and more of your optic nerve fibers, leading to vision loss.
2

With primary open-angle glaucoma, the fluid can still effectively flow back out of your eye.

Explanation:
With primary open-angle glaucoma, the fluid can’t effectively flow back out of your eye. In many cases, people don’t even know that they have glaucoma until they experience vision loss.
3

Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the iris of the eye closes off the drainage angle completely.

Explanation:
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the iris of the eye closes off the drainage angle completely, causing an increase in IOP pressure and damage to the optic nerve.
4

Ocular hypertension is a result of high ocular pressure.

Explanation:
If you have a condition known as ocular hypertension, which is a result of high ocular pressure, your risk of developing glaucoma increases.
5

Drops are the second line of treatment of glaucoma.

Explanation:
Glaucoma treatment is centered around lowering your IOP in order to prevent further vision loss. Drops are the first line of treatment of glaucoma.
(Answer all questions to activate)

Dr. Baseer Khan, MD, FRCS(C), P.CEO, Ophthalmologist, discusses the importance of eye drops in glaucoma.

Diagnosing Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease that is characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve of the eye.

Now the optic nerve is like a cable that brings information the eye sees about the world and brings it to the brain, and when there’s damaging glaucoma, patients often first lose a bit of their peripheral vision, and as it progresses they can eventually lose their central vision.

So it’s a big problem because people don’t know that they’re affected. There are lots of different risk factors for glaucoma: increasing age, race, also increased intraocular pressure in the eye, family history can be important, as well as certain refractive areas of the eye.

So, all of these things are important when we’re assessing somebody with glaucoma or to check if they have glaucoma.

Patients are often referred to see an ophthalmologist regarding glaucoma for a number of reasons. They might have a nerve at the back of the eye that looks very suspicious for glaucoma.

An eye care professional might have read that they had a very high pressure inside the eye, which is a risk factor for glaucoma, or there might have been a screening test done that indicates they’re missing part of their peripheral vision, and that might have them sent in to see an ophthalmologist for assessment.

So those aren’t things that people often perceive. They are often aware they have a problem. They might come and see somebody and say you know I’m not even sure why I’m here, but it’s important that if those things are noted they follow-up on those appointments and we can ensure that they don’t have any damage from this disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma or somebody tells you you look suspicious for glaucoma, the most important thing you can do is continue to maintain your appointments with your eye care professional.

The likelihood of losing significant vision is greatly diminished if you keep those appointments are able to be seen regularly. It’s also important to keep using any therapies that have been prescribed for you and make sure you don’t run out of medications and that might involve ensuring that your drops are being renewed appropriately, that you’re being seen on regular intervals, and that can be very helpful.

It’s important to remember that all of these treatments can treat glaucoma although none of them cure glaucoma, and so it’s not enough to simply take the drops and never see somebody again.

It’s important to be seen regularly. Glaucoma is a potentially blinding but treatable disease, so if for whatever reason you suspect you might have glaucoma, or you have a family history of glaucoma, it’s reasonable to see your GP or optometrist to be referred to see an ophthalmologist.

Presenter: Dr. Steven Schendel, Ophthalmologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Ophthalmologist

 Optometrist  Local Optometrist

Diagnosing Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease that is characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve of the eye.

The optic nerve is like a cable that brings information the eye sees about the world and brings it to the brain, and when there’s damaging glaucoma, patients often first lose a bit of their peripheral vision, and as it progresses they can eventually lose their central vision.

This is a big problem because people don’t know that they’re affected. There are lots of different risk factors for glaucoma: increasing age, race, also increased intraocular pressure in the eye, family history can be important, as well as certain refractive areas of the eye.

All of these things are important when we’re assessing somebody with glaucoma or to check if they have glaucoma.

Patients are often referred to see an ophthalmologist regarding glaucoma for a number of reasons. They might have a nerve at the back of the eye that looks very suspicious for glaucoma.

An eye care professional might have read that they had a very high pressure inside the eye, which is a risk factor for glaucoma, or there might have been a screening test done that indicates they’re missing part of their peripheral vision, and that might have them sent in to see an ophthalmologist for assessment.

These issues are often things that people don’t often perceive.  They might come and see somebody and say, “you know I’m not even sure why I’m here.” It’s therefor important that if the symptoms of glaucoma are noted by a physician, that the patient follows-up on all appointments to ensure that they don’t have any damage from this disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma or a physician tells you they are suspicious for glaucoma, the most important thing you can do is continue to maintain your appointments with your eye care professional.  The likelihood of losing significant vision is greatly diminished if you keep those appointments are able to be seen regularly.

It’s also important to keep using any therapies that have been prescribed for you and make sure you don’t run out of medications and that might involve ensuring that your drops are being renewed appropriately, that you’re being seen on regular intervals, and that can be very helpful.

It’s important to remember that all of these treatments can treat glaucoma although none of them cure glaucoma, and so it’s not enough to simply take the drops and never see somebody again.

It’s important to be seen regularly. Glaucoma is a potentially blinding but treatable disease, so if for whatever reason you suspect you might have glaucoma, or you have a family history of glaucoma, it’s reasonable to see your GP or optometrist to be referred to see an ophthalmologist.

Presenter: Dr. Steven Schendel, Ophthalmologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Ophthalmologist

 Optometrist  Local Optometrist

David Mitchell, OD, discusses Diseases Inside the Eye

Local Optometrist

Mr. Steven Sorkin

Mr. Steven Sorkin

OD, FSLS
Optometrist
Fairfield, NJ
Alexa Fox

Alexa Fox

OD
Optometrist
Fairfield, NJ

Dr. Steven Schendel, MD, FRSC (C), Ophthalmologist discusses glaucoma and how it is treated.

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY