Glaucoma is a condition where damage has been done to your optic nerve, affecting your vision. This is usually due to a blockage or increase of pressure in the eye. It can also be a result of injury or a side effect.
How Glaucoma is Diagnosed
To diagnose glaucoma, your ophthalmologist will perform a comprehensive eye exam. Your physician will check for signs of deterioration, including loss of nerve tissue and certain eye problems that could be consistent with glaucoma. They might use one or multiple of the following examinations
- Detailed medical history – This is to go over the symptoms you have been experiencing and to see if you have any history of glaucoma. This exam is used to identify any other health effects that can cause glaucoma such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It is also important to evaluate the medical history of your family as this condition can be passed down genetically and risk rates vary through ethnicity.
- Tonometry test – to measure the eyes internal pressure
- Pachymetry test – to measure the thinness of the cornea as thinner corneas are more susceptible
- Perimetry test – also called a vision field test, this is to measure your side and central vision to know if it is being affected
- Optic nerve monitoring – pictures may be taken to motor changes in the nerve over time
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce pressure within the eye in order to prevent further vision loss. Typically, doctors will recommend that you begin treatment with prescription eye drops. If eye drops alone don’t provide the desired results, next steps include
- Medication – IOP (intraocular pressure) medications are available in many different forms. Adrenergic antagonists (Timolol, Betaxolol), carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (Dorzolamide, Brinzolamide), cholinergics (Pilocarpine) and others.
- Surgery – if a blocked or slow channel is causing increased IOP your doctor may suggest surgery to create drainage passageways for excess fluid or destroy tissues that contribute to the inflammation process.
Treatment for angle-closure glaucoma is different. This type of glaucoma is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention. Medicines are usually attempted first, to reverse the angle closure, but this may be unsuccessful. A laser procedure called laser peripheral iridotomy may be performed. This surgery is to make small holes in the iris to promote increased fluid movement.
At Centre of Balance we practice and treat glaucoma using Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Acupuncture is proven to be highly effective in the management of glaucoma and will also help to prevent further vision loss. Acupuncture practitioners focus on improving their patients’ general well-being by stimulating specific acupoints (i.e. energy meridians) on the skin. This is to stimulate and promote good flow of qi (energy) and blood through the body. The acupuncturist stimulates the skin to release endorphins in order to relieve pressure inside the eye. By puncturing certain key points on the body, a supplemental impact on overall health is created by raising circulation and enhancing immune function. A combination of these techniques may also be approached for treating glaucoma.
Get in contact with us today at Centre of Balance to learn more or find out how we can help you today.
Our Offer to You
Fill in our online questionnaire for free – and save the $135 it would cost you to do this detailed medical history in person with a practitioner. You can request a phone call from a practitioner after they have read your online form, or just book your initial exam for $40. Call us on 07 846 7956 to book, or fill in the questionnaire now.