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Computerized Autoperimetry is one way to detect and monitor Glaucoma.
If you think glaucoma is a disease of old age, that it primarily strikes people with diabetes, or that you´re safe if you have 20/20 vision - think again!

`These are myths about glaucoma - the leading cause of preventable blindness,´ warns Dr. Steve Briggs, a Grey-Bruce Optometrist. `The sad fact is that too many people are in danger of losing vision because they think they´re not at risk,´ he says. `The tragedy is that many of the more than 10,000 Canadians who are blind as a result of glaucoma did not have to lose their sight!'

Glaucoma can affect anyone from newborn babies to senior citizens. In fact, about 400,000 people in Canada have glaucoma and half of them don´t even know they have it. The disease is called `the sneak thief of sight´ because it usually has no warning symptoms. But a simple, painless eye examination can detect the disease. And with early detection and continuing treatment, glaucoma usually can be controlled and blindness prevented.

Every Ontario resident over age 65 is covered for an annual eye exam, and people aged 19-64 are covered every two years. Dr. Briggs urges everyone to schedule a regular eye examination with an eye care professional. A full eye exam includes glaucoma testing. The painless test should check the fluid pressure in your eyes, determine how well you see at various distances, dilate your pupil with drops to inspect your optic nerve for signs of damage and measure your visual field to ascertain if you´ve lost any side vision.

If glaucoma is diagnosed, typical treatment is daily eye drops to keep intra-ocular pressures down. If this proves ineffective, there are laser procedures that can be done to increase fluid drainage from the eye, and lower pressures that way. It's important to remember that even if your pressures are normal, you may still have glaucoma. The definitive test is a computerized test of your peripheral vision, called autoperimetry.

Glaucoma is a poorly understood eye disease, but research continues. Recent experiments in animals with a drug that curbed the action of NOS-2, an enzyme that makes nitric oxide, slowed down and possibly prevented the loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the crucial nerve cells so important to sight.

Many glaucoma patients are being monitored with the HRT, a laser device that monitors optic nerve head cupping very precisely. more...

For further information The Glaucoma Foundation has put together a good general overview of the disease, and I quote liberally from it below. For a more technical, medical perspective, see the Glaucoma FAQ

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