What Opticians Need To Know About Glaucoma16/08/2021
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye(s) when there is progressive loss of sight from the periphery of either or both eyes, and if not detected by an eye doctor, will gradually work its way to taking central vision as the disease worsens until total blindess. It’s a sneaky disease which can strike slowly and without obvious warning or rather quickly depending on the patient and the reason for the onset.
It can be painless or full of pain depending on the type of glaucoma that a person happens to find themselves battling. Glaucoma can be as a result of a specific individual illness and it is also hereditary. Some are even born with it, or congenital. Whatever the case may be, glaucoma can be treated and halted if the symptoms and signs are identified early enough. Early detection is key with this eye disease as it will cause blindness if left untreated. There is no cure.
For Opticians who work side by side with eye doctors doubling as assistants, there are medical background questions one should ask prior to the patient seeing the doctor for the full examination such as:
- Is the patient seeing halos when looking at a car light, street light or any light. These halos sightings could be the sign of optic nerve issues that point to glaucoma.
- High blood pressure?
- Any hits to the eye?
- Eyeball pain?
- Eyes producing tears randomly?
There are some immediate signs of possible glaucoma. In fact, if any of these signs occur, such as total loss of vision in a short matter of time, severe pain, vomiting, headaches, it is important to go to the doctor immediately as these are signs of acute angle glaucoma which can cause immediate blindness.
To be on the safe side, always schedule an eye examination every two years if there are no ocular or vision problems. If, however, there is a family history of glaucoma or symptoms, schedule appointments yearly or every six months with your eye doctor. The earlier glaucoma is detected, the earlier it can be treated, thus, saving very precious eyesight.
When an Optician is fitting a patient who has glaucoma with eyewear, the doctor should have already made the patient aware if their vision is already limited due to the disease. Some people with glaucoma see regularly because the disease was caught and treated early. However, if the disease has progressed, the doctor should have already explained that their vision will be limited even with eyewear.
If the patient is unsure why their vision wasn’t corrected with eyewear, the Optician should refer the patient back to the doctor.