Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease, in which changes within the eye and damage to the optic nerve causes reduced peripheral vision, leading to central loss. If not detected and treated early, it can lead to serious, irreversible vision loss. It is often called the “silent thief,” because it is asymptomatic in the early stages, and many patients are unaware of the disease until there has been significant vision loss. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada.
Glaucoma occurs most frequently in people over the age of 40, and the risk increases with family history, race, age, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a history of trauma.
Development of glaucoma is slow and gradual. There are no early warning signs. The best way to detect it is with regular comphrehensive eye exams. Dr. Lee will measure the internal pressure in your eyes, evaluate your optic nerve, and assess the presence of, or your risk of getting glaucoma. A visual field test and other additional scans may be required.
Treatment may be in the form of daily eye drops or laser surgery. It serves to slow progression and preserve the remaining vision. Vision loss due to glaucoma is irreversible and cannot be restored – that is why it is so important to have regular eye exams to prevent damage.