Screening for glaucoma, the silent eyesight killer

- Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. More than 60 million people are affected by it. In the U.S., approximately 3 million people have been diagnosed. Another 10 million have it but don't know it.

Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve, according to Dr. Celso Tello, the chairman of Meeth Ophthalmology. He added that early-stage glaucoma does not have symptoms—no pain, no change in vision. That is why glaucoma is considered the silent killer of eyesight.

After noticing her vision was a little blurry, Georgiana Land decided to get an eye exam. She was diagnosed with cataracts and glaucoma. When her first ophthalmologist was unable to lower the pressure in her eyes, he sent her to Dr. Tello.

Land said that Dr. Tello has been able to stabilize the pressure in her left eye and she can she see.

While glaucoma is a serious disease, keep in mind that it is treatable and preventable. But a regular eye test won't detect it. You need to get a glaucoma screening.

More than just reading an eye chart, a glaucoma screening is fast and can detect problems before you feel them. Special equipment is used to test the pressure in your eyes. The normal range is between 10 and 20.

Just to be clear, the pressure we're referring to has nothing to do with high blood pressure. It is the optic nerve pressure. Because glaucoma affects peripheral vision first, a visual field test measures how good your side vision is.

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