If you aren’t having problems with your vision, you may never feel the need to visit an optometrist and receive an eye exam. This kind of thinking makes sense when you’re considering your ability to see clearly. But one thing people don’t always realize is that getting an eye exam in Oshkosh can tell you so much more.
Two critical parts of a routine eye exam are testing the optic nerve and checking the internal pressure of the eye. These tests are very important in discovering things about the health of your eyes. Specifically, these tests can reveal the early signs of glaucoma, a dangerous eye disease.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that causes fluid buildup and increased pressure within the eyeball. When this happens, you may begin to lose sight in your peripheral vision. Over time, the loss of sight may actually creep into your central vision, severely limiting your ability to see out of the affected eye or eyes.
In most cases, glaucoma is painless and creeps up on you slowly. You may not even notice major differences in your vision because the change occurs over such a long period of time. When the damage is severe, you may begin to notice blind spots in your peripheral vision.
Some people are at a higher risk for glaucoma, including those over the age of 40 and those with nearsightedness or farsightedness.
The reason glaucoma causes loss of vision is because the increased pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve—the main component of the eye that allows you to see anything. This damage is irreversible, meaning if you don’t catch it early, the disease may result in complete blindness.
For this reason, it’s extremely important to diagnose glaucoma early. The sooner the disease is caught, the less damage can be done to your nerve, so you can retain as much of your vision as possible.
How yearly eye exams can help
Because it’s so important to catch glaucoma early to prevent nerve damage, we can’t stress enough the importance of yearly eye exams. When you go in for an eye exam in Oshkosh, your optometrist will conduct numerous tests on your eyes. Some of these, like a test of intraocular pressure (IOP) and optic nerve size, are instrumental in identifying glaucoma.
When you’re visiting an optometrist yearly, they will be able to chart the changes in your IOP and nerve size. If glaucoma is suspected, your doctor may also test your peripheral vision to verify that you’re suffering from the disease.
From there, treatment can be administered. Some of the most common treatments for glaucoma are eye drops in different varieties, which can help reduce fluid buildup in the eye and lower eye pressure to avoid further nerve damage.
Have you been to an eye doctor recently? If not, it’s time to schedule an eye exam! Contact Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe to set up an eye exam in Oshkosh. We handle everything eye-related, from yearly exams, glasses and contact lenses to red eye treatments and other eye problems.