What Is Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye disease that damages the optic nerve resulting in vision loss.  It is generally associated with an increase in pressure within the eye.  Most people do not have any symptoms until the later stages of the disease.

Screening For Glaucoma

Our routine eye examination includes 3 screening test for glaucoma.  We measure your eye pressure (IOP), screen the front of the eye where the cornea and iris meet for signs of narrowness, and evaluate the optic nerve for signs of glaucoma damage. Sometimes one or more of these tests may indicate a risk of glaucoma and additional testing may be recommended.


  • Glaucoma Imaging

There are various instruments that can image the back of the eye.  We have two: Optomap photography and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).  Photography is straight forward. Photographs of the optic nerve are taken and in the future a comparison for change is performed.  With OCT, the thickness of the retina is measured around the nerve and then compared to a database of normals.  Thinning of the retinal nerve fiber is a sign of glaucoma so these measurements are repeated on a regular basis to monitor for glaucoma progression.

  • Gonioscopy

With the aid of a mirrored contact lens, the angle where the iris and cornea meet are evaluated.  This is the drainage area for the eye and affects your eye pressure.  It allows for classification of the type of glaucoma and can help determine the best course of treatment.

  • Pachymetry

With this test, the thickness of the cornea is measured and can give us more information about your eye pressure.

  • Visual Field

This test is used to see if there is damage to your field of vision from glaucoma.  Like OCT and gonioscopy, visual field testing is repeated on a regular basis to monitor for glaucoma progression.

Risk Factors For Glaucoma

  • Being over 40
  • Being highly nearsighted
  • Having Diabetes
  • Having a family member with glaucoma

Did You Know

2.7 million Americans are affected, however half don’t know it.

Nearly half of your vision may be lost before you even notice it.

Routine eye examinations can detect it in its earliest stages.

People You May Know Who Have Glaucoma

Ray Charles.  He was born with glaucoma and was blind by early childhood.

John Glenn.  Apparently only suffered minimal vision loss from glaucoma.

Kirby Puckett.  Hall of fame baseball player for the Twins, he had to stop playing baseball due to vision loss from glaucoma.

Learn more about glaucoma and schedule an appointment today. Gray Family Vision has two greater Portland Maine locations to serve you in Gray and Windham. Since 1989, we have been serving the entire Lakes Region Area including Auburn, Casco, Bridgeton, Cumberland, Falmouth, Freeport, Fryeburg, Lewiston, Naples, New Gloucester, North Conway, North Yarmouth, Raymond, Sanford, and Yarmouth.