HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness, and it's a condition that many people never realize they have, until it's too late to save their eyesight. During Glaucoma Awareness Month, Dr. Allan Panzer with the Houston Dry Eye Clinic shares his findings with FOX 26 News. Glaucoma can certainly be a concern for someone with a family history, since that does increase the risks.
"The latest test is a corneal hysteresis instrument," explains Dr. Panzer. "It's like the air puff, but tells you the density of the cornea. It appears from a great deal of research that density indicates those who are at greater or less risk of developing glaucoma. It has been on the market for quite a while - most have heard of the air puff, but they just found a new way to utilize it to determine those that are at greater risk. Glaucoma is a very difficult condition and based on the different aspects of glaucoma - you have the optic nerve, the pressure in the eye, you have visual field, you have corneal thickness, and now you have the density of the cornea. It has been determined that the density of the cornea is a much more important factor than the corneal thickness, which is what we've been thinking for many years was the case."
Like every condition, it's best to catch it early! Dr. Panzer strongly suggests that everyone get an annual eye examination and certainly add the glaucoma test to that list.
"I use three words to describe glaucoma: change over time," says Dr. Panzer. "No one can just look in your eye and say you have glaucoma. The only way to determine it is change over time, three magic words."