Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: The Importance of Raising Awareness

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Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, but it is surrounded by many mysteries yet to be solved by researchers. Additionally, the general public is not well informed about the risks of glaucoma. “It is estimated that over 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know they have it” (“Glaucoma Facts”, 2013, para. 8). Glaucoma is a disease in which continual pressure to the optic nerve damages it, leading to vision loss (“What is Glaucoma?”, n.d.). Glaucoma is complicated and not very well known. It is important to raise public awareness about this condition so that people with a high risk can have access to testing, glaucoma can be treated properly, and a cure can be found. Therefore, it is essential to …show more content…
Testing for glaucoma is extremely important, but many people who need testing do not have access to it, leading to a high rate of undiagnosed glaucoma cases. It is important for people older than their mid-fifties and adults with high risk factors to be tested for glaucoma about once a year (“Five Tests,” 2013). There are five basic diagnostic tests for glaucoma: tonometry, opthalmoscopy, perimetry, gonioscopy, and pachymetry. Two of these tests, tonometry and opthalmoscopy, are done at routine eye exams (“Five Tests,” 2013). The tonometry test measures interocular, or inner eye, pressure. This test is either done by numbing the eye with a drop and touching it lightly with a small device or a puff of air (“Tonometry,” 2012). The second test, opthalmoscopy, lets the eye doctor examine the optic nerve. After pupils are dilated, the doctor examines the eye with a light. If it looks abnormal, the doctor will most likely recommend more tests (“Five Tests,” 2013). The perimetry test measures the vision field to check for vision loss, the gonioscopy test checks the angle where the iris and the cornea meet, and the pachymetry test measures cornea thickness, which helps the reading from the tonometry test be interpreted more fully. All five of these tests are necessary for a glaucoma diagnosis due to the complicated nature

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