Glaucoma Eye Exams Are Important!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Glaucoma Eye Exams Are Important!

Prevent Blindness America designates January as National Glaucoma Awareness Month and D’Ambrosio Eye Care wants to highlight the importance of eye exams and glaucoma testing to provide early detection, diagnosis and treatment for glaucoma when necessary. We also want to let baby boomers and seniors know that glaucoma risk increases considerably after the age of 40, and once over 60 years of age you are 6 times more likely to get glaucoma, even without any family or medical history. Your risk is further increased 4-9 times if you have any family history of glaucoma.

Eye exams for glaucoma should begin by checking your visual acuity with and without your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Then, the tonometry test should be performed where we measure your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) which gives the eye doctors the first piece of important information in determining whether you might have glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy is another examination procedure used to detect and diagnose glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy is a method of carefully examining the inside of the eye-especially the optic nerve-in order to detect glaucoma. It is necessary to have some eye drops placed in your eyes in order to dilate your pupils so that the doctors can make a clear and direct observation of the optic nerve.

If either the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or the optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary in order to complete the glaucoma examination. These may include Visual Field Perimetry, Gonioscopy, Optic Nerve Computer Imaging and Pachymetry. Should you need any of these tests we explain them fully to you and answer your questions so that you understand how they permit us to diagnose glaucoma.

If you are under 40 years of age and do not have any family history of glaucoma or ocular hypertension-and have no other glaucoma risk factors and are not of African-American or Hispanic descent, then having a glaucoma eye examination every two years should be sufficient. If you have any glaucoma risk factors including high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, are a smoker, entered menopause early, have a family history or are over 40-especially if you are of African-American or Hispanic descent, then a glaucoma eye exam each year is recommended.

If you or someone you know has any risk factors for glaucoma you are encouraged to schedule an eye exam at D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.