Glaucoma Diagnosis & Management in South Calgary

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Protecting Your Eyes From the Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is the name for a group of progressive, degenerative eye diseases that can steal your sight. Glaucoma leads to damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for your sight and can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada, as it often develops gradually without noticeable symptoms. One of the best ways to detect and diagnose glaucoma in the early stages is comprehensive eye exams. There is no cure, but early treatment can prevent further damage and save your vision.

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Types & Causes of Glaucoma

Glaucoma’s specific cause is unknown, but it is generally associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). However, in some cases, glaucoma can occur without elevated intraocular pressure, which is referred to as normal-tension glaucoma.

Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. 

The eye drains the aqueous fluid through its drainage system, but when this system becomes inefficient over time, it can no longer drain effectively. When the aqueous humour can’t drain properly, it builds up and exerts pressure on the optic nerve, causing damage.

Primary open-angle glaucoma typically develops gradually without symptoms. You will likely not notice any symptoms until you have significant vision loss.

Angle-closure glaucoma is the less common but much more severe type of glaucoma. It is considered an eye emergency and should be addressed by a medical professional as soon as possible

Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the eye’s drainage angle between the cornea and iris suddenly closes or becomes blocked. This causes the aqueous fluid to build up rapidly, increasing eye pressure very quickly. 

When this happens, it’s referred to as an acute attack and may be coupled with pain, sudden vision loss, or nausea. If you’re experiencing an acute attack, please visit your emergency room immediately.

Secondary glaucoma occurs due to an injury, infection, or tumour in or around the eye. It can also happen due to medical conditions, medications, or other abnormalities.

Normal-tension glaucoma often occurs when the eye’s internal pressure stays within the “normal” range, but the optic nerve still sustains damage. The cause for normal-tension glaucoma is unknown but is theorized to be related to an inadequate blood supply or poor perfusion.

Diagnosing Glaucoma

Because most types of glaucoma are related to elevated IOP, we perform a test that evaluates your eye’s internal pressure during every eye exam. 

When we diagnose glaucoma, we perform a dilated eye exam that gives us a better view of your internal eye structures, including the optic nerve and retina.

Tonometry is a diagnostic test that measures IOP. At Calgary Family Eye Doctors, we use an iCare tonometer to measure your IOP levels, a handheld tonometry device that can indicate the presence of glaucoma.

The iCare tonometer doesn’t use an air puff to test IOP, which many people find more comfortable.

The Humphrey visual field test is used to measure your peripheral vision. It can detect areas of decreased vision, which may indicate signs of glaucoma, like optic nerve damage. 

The test provides us with a wealth of information about your eye health. This helps us better diagnose and monitor any changes that may indicate glaucoma.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive imaging technique that uses light to take cross-sectional pictures of the retina. 

It can provide us with detailed information about specific layers of the retina and help us detect signs of glaucoma, such as optic nerve damage.

Optomap retinal imaging is a comprehensive digital imaging technique that captures a detailed, high-resolution image of the retina. 

This allows us to detect abnormal changes that may indicate glaucoma, like damage to the optic nerve

During a dilated fundus exam, we dilate the pupils to gain a more detailed view of the back of the eye, also known as the fundus. 

With this technique, we can also monitor changes that may occur over time that could be indicative of glaucoma progression, like optic nerve damage or changes to the retinal fibre layers.

Visit Us at Calgary Family Eye Doctors

Where is Our Office?

Find us just off Southport Road SW on the west side of Macleod Trail.

Where Can You Park?

There is 2 hour free parking directly outside the professional building.

Our Address

  • 11th Floor, 1125-10655 Southport Road SW
  • Calgary, AB T2W 4Y1

Contact Information

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

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