Glaucoma: the silent disease - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Glaucoma: the silent disease

Eye chart with a detailed map Eye chart with a detailed map
Eye health is important regardless if you need lenses or not Eye health is important regardless if you need lenses or not
Eye test doctors give patients Eye test doctors give patients
Dr. Cosby explains what he sees among his patients Dr. Cosby explains what he sees among his patients
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Making an appointment to see your eye doctor should be something you do every year, and not just to pick up a new pair of glasses or contacts but to make sure your eyes are safe from getting glaucoma. It's a diagnosis Dr. Cosby sees on a daily basis.

"Sadly to say, I had a patient a couple of weeks ago that came in and had completely lost vision in on of his eyes," Dr. Cosby said.

Glaucoma is a very serious eye disease that can affect anyone, even if you have good vision because there are no symptoms, it's what optometrists call the "silent disease".

"Because it doesn't affect your central vision first," Dr. Cosby said. "It affects your peripheral first but then it closes in on you until finally it does cause blindness so we want to detect it way before it gets to this point."

There are a number of tests that can be performed to determine if a patient has glaucoma, including an exam from a Optical Coherence Tomography, a machine that scans the internal structure of the eye allowing doctors to analyze the optic nerve, disc and retina. If diagnosed, Dr. Cosby says it is manageable as long as patients stick to their medication.

"The patient might say, 'Well I'm not having any problems so I'll just skip my drops for a while or I won't take them' but still there's this underlying disease there that we need to stay on top of,"Dr. Cosby shares.

According to the Glaucoma research foundation over 2 million people have the disease nationwide but only half of those are aware. Optometrists say early detection is key in saving your vision.

 

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