Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually
steals sight without warning and often without symptoms. Vision loss is
caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric
cable with over a million wires and is responsible for carrying the images
we see to the brain.
It was once thought that high intraocular pressure (IOP) was the main
cause of this optic nerve damage. Although IOP is clearly a risk factor,
we now know that other factors must also be involved because even people
with "normal" IOP can experience vision loss from glaucoma.
Different Types of Glaucoma
The two main types of glaucoma are open angle glaucoma, or primary open
angle glaucoma (POAG), and angle closure glaucoma.
Early detection, through regular and complete eye exams, is the key to
protecting your vision from damage caused by glaucoma.
Four Main Tests for Glaucoma
Regular glaucoma check-ups include two routine eye tests: tonometry and
The tonometry test measures the inner pressure of the eye. Usually drops
are used to numb the eye. Then the doctor or technician will use a special
device that measures the eye’s pressure.
Ophthalmoscopy is used to examine the inside of the eye, especially the
optic nerve. In a darkened room, the doctor will magnify your eye by using
an ophthalmoscope (an instrument with a small light on the end). This
helps the doctor look at the shape and color of the optic nerve.
If the pressure in the eye is not in the normal range, or if the optic
nerve looks unusual, then one or two special glaucoma tests will be done.
These two tests are called perimetry and gonioscopy.
The perimetry test is also called a visual field test. During this test,
you will be asked to look straight ahead and then indicate when a moving
light passes your peripheral (or side) vision. This helps draw a
"map" of your vision.
Gonioscopy is a painless eye test that checks if the angle where the iris
meets the cornea is open or closed, showing if either open angle or closed
angle glaucoma is present.
It is important to have your eyes examined regularly. Your eyes should
be tested at:
- Ages 35 and 40
- After age 40, every two to four years
- After age 60, every one to two years
- Those with any high risk factors, every one to two years after age
Xalatan is one of many treatments.
Increases drainage of intraocular fluid
Side effects In initial studies, between 5% and
15% of people who used this medication reported a gradual change in eye
color, due to an increased amount of brown pigment in the iris of the
treated eye. The change in eye color occurs slowly and may not be
noticeable for several months to years. Other side effects can include
stinging, blurred vision, eye redness, itching, and burning. These
medications is new to the market and long term follow up of people who use
it is not yet available.
TGF Support Groups:
Group with Professional Speakers
TGF has embarked on a new partnership with The Glaucoma Support and
Education Group of New York City – a well-established, speaker-driven
support community that is dedicated to distributing an information-packed
newsletter to patients across the country.
In addition to online forums, there are many local groups across the
country that offer invaluable information, assistance and comfort to