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A comprehensive eye examination is the only way to detect glaucoma: Goodhew

Wednesday, March 12, 2014   by: Kate Adams

Canadian Doctors of Optometry
News Release

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VANCOUVER, BC – March 9-15 is World Glaucoma Awareness Week, and Canadian Doctors of Optometry want to remind Canadian residents to consult with their doctor of optometry about glaucoma prevention and detection.

Glaucoma impacts children and adults, but is most frequently seen in people over the age of 40.

Those with diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of eye injuries are at even greater risk of developing the disease.

“A comprehensive eye examination is the only way to detect glaucoma,” says Doctor of Optometry, Jeff Goodhew (Pictured).

“During your exam, your Doctor of Optometry will look into your eye to observe the health of the optic nerve, measure your field of vision and perform a simple and painless procedure called tonometry, which measures the internal pressure of your eye.”

Glaucoma is the second most common cause of preventable vision loss in seniors in Canada, behind diabetic eye disease, and early detection can help control the disease, according to the Doctors of Optometry Canada.

“Glaucoma often develops gradually and painlessly without noticeable symptoms,” says Goodhew.

While the exact cause is not completely understood, glaucoma is commonly caused by the overproduction of fluid and/or a decrease in fluid being drained from the eye, which damages the optic nerve. 

As the fibers that make up the optic nerve are damaged due to increased pressure on the nerve, the amount and quality of information sent to the brain decreases and a loss of vision occurs.

If diagnosed at an early stage, eye drops and laser treatment can control Glaucoma and in many cases, little or no vision loss will occur.

If Glaucoma is left untreated, peripheral vision is affected first, followed by central vision loss during late stages of the disease, which can then lead to complete blindness. Once symptoms of vision loss are present, these cannot be reversed.

A comprehensive eye health examination is the key to preserving your vision and making it last a lifetime.

Regular exams conducted by your Doctor of Optometry give you peace of mind in knowing that your eyes are being treated by an eye health professional that can identify potential health issues early – that have no symptoms.

Doctors of Optometry diagnose, treat and help prevent diseases and disorders affecting the eyes and the visual system.

To find a Doctor of Optometry and book an eye exam, visit, www.doctorsofoptometry.ca

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