Glaucoma is a group of diseases that causes damage to the eye's optic nerves leading to impaired vision or blindness.
Why is the early treatment of Glaucoma important?
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Approximately 2,500,000 people have some degree of visual loss from glaucoma. It affects people of all ages and all races. Since most patients have no symptoms from glaucoma, by the time a person notices visual loss, damage from glaucoma is usually advanced.
Most blindness from glaucoma is needless and could have been prevented if detected and treated in time. The GDx - Nerve Fiber Analyzer, available at the CGH Main Clinic, is the most advanced technology to date for the early diagnosis of glaucoma.
The GDx machine uses a technology to measure your actual nerve fiber layer (65,536 different points) to determine how "healthy" it is.
The test is quick (2 to 3 minutes) and painless. It does not require dilation.
The GDx machine is able to detect glaucoma long before other exams can. Using visual field exams (where you try to detect specific points of light while looking straight ahead) will detect that you have in fact lost vision. Many times 20% of your nerve fiber function can be lost before an abnormality is detected.
The GDx machine is able to more accurately measure the progression or stabilization of glaucoma.
It is also able to assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the medicines used to treat your glaucoma.
My doctor sits me at a machine that measures the pressure in my eye. Isn't this checking for glaucoma?
This test, called tonometry, is a simple office test used to detect elevated intraocular pressure. While high pressure puts you at risk for glaucoma, it does not always mean you have the disease. 1/3 of people with glaucoma have "normal" pressures. Whether or not you get glaucoma depends on the level of pressure your optic nerve can tolerate without being damaged. This level is different for each person.
The physicians of the CGH Main Clinic are proud to be on the leading edge in offering our patients this advanced technology for the early detection of glaucoma.