Animation: Detecting glaucoma through a dilated eye exam.


The Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam Opening the Door to Preventing Blindness A doctor can detect signs of glaucoma
during a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The patient receives special eye drops
to dilate the pupils. The pupils open wide allowing the doctor
to see the back of the eye clearly. When eyes are dilated the doctor can
clearly see the retina, the optic nerve and the macula. To look for early signs of glaucoma the
doctor will examine the optic nerve. This patient’s optic nerve is healthy, but here’s what it would look like if it showed signs of glaucoma. The doctor will see changes in the shape
or color of the optic nerve. He or she may also see what is called cupping of the optic disk. Glaucoma is most common in African Americans over the age of 40, people over 60 and in people with a
family history of glaucoma. Dilation enables doctors to get a better
view of the back of the eye, which allows them to determine whether
there are early symptoms of disease But it’s important to know that all
people older than 60 need a comprehensive dilated eye exam
each year and should inform their doctor right
away if they begin to have problems with their site People at higher risk may need to have a
dilated eye exam more often. Risk factors including race, age and family history are all important to
determine how often patients should receive a comprehensive dilated eye exam. To learn more about comprehensive
dilated eye exams,common vision problems and eye disease, visit: www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes

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