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What Is Glaucoma? | Long Island Eye Doctor

Joel Kestenbaum, OD

What is glaucoma?

Over two million Americans have glaucoma making it one of the most common causes of legal blindness in the United States. Glaucoma can rob people of their vision even though they don’t have any visual symptoms or pain.  In fact, half of those with glaucoma don’t even know it.  The disease is not easily diagnosed.  For example, the standard test, which measures eye pressure, fails to uncover glaucoma in one third of patients with the disease.  This is why glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight.”

A Better Glaucoma Detection Technology
Don’t worry, Optix has the revolutionary Zeiss GDx Nerve Fiber Analyzer.  This revolutionary new technology helps Drs Kestenbaum, Zalaznick and Lustig detect glaucoma earlier, so the disease can be treated beforeOptix GDX vision is lost.  The GDx is a tool that uses a scanning laser to determine the thickness of the nerve fiber layer of the retina. The nerve fiber layer is important because it is the tissue that the optic nerve is made of.  Damage to the nerve fiber layer could be a sign of glaucoma.  In theory, a thinning of the nerve fiber layer is bad.
The test is a quick and comfortable part of a complete eye exam.  Plus, you don’t have to have your pupils dilated. You simply look into the Zeiss GDx system while it safely scans the back of your eye.  Total exam time usually takes less than a minute, and the system creates easy-to-read images that the doctor can quickly analyze.  This computerized instrument can measure changes in retinal thickness that the eye doctors cannot with a routine exam.  This thinning would show up before loss is seen with a visual field or peripheral vision test in most cases.  Generally, until there is a field defect, patients are unaware of a problem.  The GDx offers important information that is not obvious on clinical examination.  It is most useful in following patients over time to see if they are losing tissue at a rate faster than they should.  The GDx is likely the earliest glaucoma detection device available.

Enhanced Patient Services
Including the ZEISS GDx screening and exam in our practice is another example of our commitment to provide the most advanced and comprehensive eyecare services. If you have any questions about your vision or the health of your eyes, please contact our office. We are more than happy to help with any of your eye care needs.

What makes me at risk?
•    A Family History of Glaucoma?
•    High or Borderline Eye Pressure?
•    Aging (Generally Over 35 But Could Be Younger)
•    Diabetes
•    Sleep Apnea (Breathing Disorders)
•    African-American or Latino Ancestry?
•    Hypertension
•    History of Steroid Use
•    History of Migraines
•    Thinning Corneas
•    Suspicious Looking Optic Nerves
•    High Myopia (Nearsightedness)

If it has been 18 months since you or a family member have had an eye examination, call Optix to schedule an appointment.  Saving your sight is worth an hour of your time.
Dr. Joel Kestenbaum

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