Due to damage to the optic nerve, glaucoma is caused by various eye issues that result in gradual vision loss, and after cataracts, is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Though high eye pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma, glaucoma may also occur in cases of normal eye pressure. There are two main types of glaucoma in adults: primary open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form and occurs when the pressure inside the eye rises because the backup of fluid. As this pressure builds up, it damages the optic nerve and results in permanent and irreversible vision loss. Closed-angle glaucoma is more rare and occurs when the drainage canals of the eye get blocked causing a rapid increase in eye pressure. According to research and our Highland eye doctor at EyeCare Associates of San Bernardino, individuals at high risk for glaucoma should have a dilated pupil eye examination at least every two years. As part of our glaucoma diagnostic testing, our doctors use several tests to detect glaucoma, which are much more thorough and reliable than what is known as a glaucoma screening.
Since many cases of glaucoma go undetected and untreated, attempts have been made to create effective screenings for glaucoma. These screenings are often conducted by laypersons and students but, for the most part, have been ineffective and inaccurate in detecting glaucoma. Glaucoma screenings are also problematic because they may unintentionally stop people from seeking proper glaucoma diagnostic testing by our Highland eye doctor. The intention of glaucoma screenings is to identify those with glaucoma who may not be under the care of an eye doctor, though we know from research and statistics that the screening methods do not meet published quality standards. A general screening may detect glaucoma but they are simply not inclusive enough to show other eye conditions that need to be diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor, such as refractive error, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, etc. When full and proper testing is conducted, like the glaucoma testing offered at EyeCare Associates of San Bernardino, not only can glaucoma be caught early on, but other vision threatening conditions as well.