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Glaucoma occurs when the pressure inside of the eyeball gets too high and kills the nerve fibers of the optic nerve, which can result in blindness. Glaucoma is a condition that has several signs, but there are usually no symptoms until the end stages. Some of the symptoms are parts of a page missing when reading, tunnel vision and loss of central vision in the latest stages. The signs of glaucoma usually include an elevated eye pressure, although there are forms of glaucoma that have a normal level of pressure throughout the disease process. Gonioscopy is a procedure performed to determine if the drainage of aqueous (fluid inside of the eye) is working properly. Retinal photography, dilation of the pupils, HRT and OCT are common methods used to evaluate the optic nerve. Optic nerve evaluation is the most important part of diagnosing glaucoma. The determination of how much of the optic nerve is healthy and how much has been lost as a result of increased eye pressure is the most important aspect of managing glaucoma. Visual fields are used to determine how much of the peripheral vision is still functioning at full capacity. There are several forms of glaucoma: Primary open angle glaucoma, acute angle closure glaucoma, chronic angle closure glaucoma, lens induced glaucoma, inflammatory glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, steroid induced glaucoma, traumatic glaucoma and low pressure glaucoma. Glaucoma is a very complex disease process and needs the supervision of an optometric glaucoma specialist or ophthalmologist. Glaucoma can be detected during your yearly routine vision examination and can be diagnosed and treated as a result.
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