Glaucoma Diagnosis & Treatment in Sydney

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Protecting You Against the Silent Thief of Sight

As we age, the risk of developing sight-stealing eye conditions increases significantly. At Island Eyecare, we know exactly what to look for during your comprehensive eye exam to ensure we pinpoint any early signs of eye disease.

Glaucoma is a group of serious eye diseases that can cause significant vision loss and even blindness due to damage to the optic nerve. The condition is referred to as “The Silent Thief of Sight” because symptoms are so gradual, they aren’t often noticed. The only way to detect early signs of glaucoma is a thorough eye examination.

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Types of Glaucoma

The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. Typically, this type of glaucoma occurs when fluid in the eye cannot drain fast enough, causing intraocular pressure to rise. The increased internal eye pressure puts stress on the optic nerve and damages it.

Normal-tension glaucoma is a modern mystery in the eye care world. It is a type of open-angle glaucoma that occurs when eye pressure is still in the normal range. You may be at a higher risk of normal-tension glaucoma if you:

  • Are of Japanese heritage
  • Have a family history of normal-tension glaucoma
  • Have heart problems, like an irregular heartbeat
  • Have low blood pressure

Angle-closure glaucoma is severe and is considered an eye emergency. If you experience any symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma, go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. Symptoms include:

  • Intense pain
  • Nausea
  • Extremely red eyes
  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Halos

Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the iris’s outer edge blocks fluid from draining out of the front of the eye. The fluid builds up rapidly, causing a sudden increase in eye pressure. Without treatment, angle-closure glaucoma can cause blindness.

Testing for Glaucoma

At Island Eyecare, we use various diagnostic tests in our comprehensive eye exams to detect early signs of glaucoma and other eye diseases.

A tonometer is a diagnostic tool used to measure the intraocular pressure inside your eyes. Non-contact tonometry uses a small puff of air to momentarily flatten the cornea and measures the force necessary to do so.

The Icare tonometer uses the rebound principle to measure the internal pressure of your eye. This tonometer requires no numbing eye drops or a puff of air, and most patients report the test to be painless.

Goldmann tonometry is considered a reference standard in the eye care industry. The process involves numbing the eye with drops and then measuring the force needed to flatten the cornea with a flat-tipped cone.

A visual field test is a subjective measure of central and peripheral vision and is used to detect, diagnose, and monitor glaucoma. Typically, a visual field test will be performed on a machine. The test involves focusing on a target while flickers of light appear across your field of vision. When a flicker of light appears, we’ll instruct you to press a button. The results will tell us how much of your vision is unaffected, which is crucial if you are at risk of developing glaucoma.

Optical coherence tomography, or OCT, is a noninvasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-section images of your retina. OCT lets us see your retina’s distinctive layers and measure their thickness, giving us treatment guidance for glaucoma and other diseases of the retina. The test involves staying motionless while the machine scans your eye for around 5 to 10 minutes. During the test, we may want to dilate your pupils. If that’s the case, we’ll let you know ahead of time so you can arrange a ride home.

The Perkins tonometer was developed as a portable tonometer to use with patients that cannot sit through a slit lamp examination. It measures the force needed to flatten the cornea and can be used on children, bedridden patients, and those under general anesthetic.

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Our Location in Sydney

Find us at 117 Welton Street in Sydney, Nova Scotia, on the corner of Welton Street and Spruce Street. Our office is just down from the Sydney Memorial Chapel and next to Air Liquide Canada Store. There is ample free parking in our parking lot next to the building.

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117 Welton Street
Sydney, NS B1P 5R6

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