Optometrists in Victoria British Columbia

How an Optometrist Can Detect Normal Tension Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease which can lead to optic nerve damage and vision loss if not detected and treated early on. Normal tension glaucoma is a common form of glaucoma which is even more difficult to detect than its high tension counterpart.

The Victoria Optometric Association optometrists are on the front lines of normal tension glaucoma detection. Testing for and diagnosing eye diseases is one of the many services provided by your optometrist in Victoria.


What is Normal Tension Glaucoma?


Most people are aware that glaucoma is typically associated with high pressure inside of the eye. Glaucoma which manifests in such a way can be fairly easily detected through tonometry, a standard test during routine eye exams which involves a puff of air being blown into the eye. The problem with normal tension glaucoma is that it causes optic nerve damage and vision loss while pressure inside of the eye does not exceed normal levels. This makes normal tension glaucoma more difficult to diagnose.


Normal tension glaucoma is not completely understood, but is thought to be due to either reduced blood flow to the optic nerve or an unusually fragile optic nerve. Fragile optic nerves may be caused by genetics, while a reduction of optic nerve blood flow may be due to certain vascular disorders.


Diagnosing Normal Tension Glaucoma


Your optometrist in Victoria plays a crucial role in the detection of normal tension glaucoma. Normal tension glaucoma cannot be detected with a puff-of-air test, but changes to the optic nerve can be detected over a number of years. By keeping tabs on your eye health through routine examinations, an optometrist will be able to notice any changes to your optic nerve.


Optometrists in Victoria are trained in the use of advanced imaging equipment which allows them to view cross-sectional, very high resolution images your eye, including the optic nerve. By comparing images from years past and by doing further testing, an optometrist will be able to diagnose you with normal tension glaucoma. This is why you should visit an optometrist on a regular basis.


Depending on how far the disease has progressed, and optometrist can handle all of the treatment, parts of the treatment, or refer patients to a specialist. In its early stages, normal tension glaucoma can respond well to medicated eye drops. Sometimes, however, normal tension glaucoma may require laser treatments or even surgery to correct.


How to Find an Optometrist in Victoria


The prognosis for normal tension glaucoma, as with high tension glaucoma, is highly dependent on how early the disease is detected. The best way to make sure that normal tension glaucoma is caught in its early stages is by regularly visiting your optometrist in Victoria for a comprehensive eye exam.


Victoria Optometric Association members are all trained in the detection and diagnosis of normal tension glaucoma, and can let you know whether you are showing early signs of the disease. Don't take your eye health for granted - find an optometrist in Victoria near you today.