What kind of glaucoma testing is available for patients in Karachi, Pakistan?

At The Eye Center, we offer the complete range of diagnostic tests used in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
Several tests are available to appropriately diagnose and follow patients with glaucoma. The right kind of testing and the correct analysis of these tests allow patients with glaucoma to be picked up and diagnosed well before any significant vision loss has occurred. In cases where the disease is more advanced, these tests help doctors better understand the stage of your disease and provides the glaucoma specialist treating you important information that helps him or her in halting visual loss. Appropriate follow up allows patients who have glaucoma or significant risk factors for glaucoma to be treated most appropriately to prevent any visually disabling disease to alter their quality of life.

At The Eye Center, here in Karachi, we have the most extensive and state of art equipment and expertise to treat glaucoma patients.
Our diagnostic equipment allows us to accurately test both the structure and function of your visual system. The technology we use is at par with that of the most sophisticated glaucoma centers in the world. We have a United States fellowship trained and US Ophthalmology Board certified glaucoma specialist and also other eye specialists, including corneal specialists and retinal specialists to participate in the management of complex glaucoma disease that may require the skill of multiple subspecialists.

What is Perimetry and how is it useful in glaucoma care?
At The Eye Center, we offer Perimetry which tests the visual field or the total area in which objects can be seen both in the center as well as the periphery of one’s vision. Perimetry, or visual filed testing as it is commonly known, allows your eye specialist to measure the areas of your visual field that are normal and also document those areas that are affected by disease and are causing scotomas or loss of vision. The image you see of the world is like a jigsaw puzzle with hundreds of pieces. You may be losing a few of those pieces and may not realize it at all, until each separate area of the visual field representing one part of that jig saw puzzle is tested. Loss of visual field can occur due to many different problems that affect the visual system, but the loss that occurs due to glaucoma follows very specific patterns and can be recognized by your doctor as he or she analyzes your test result in view of the findings of your specific clinical examination.

Why is it so important to test the visual field in glaucoma?
The loss in your visual field, if present, helps your doctor understand the severity if the disease and also helps your doctor understand if you need further treatment or a change in treatment to better control your disease and hence preserve your vision. The results of your visual fields are extremely important in the management of your glaucoma. Visual fields occupy an extremely important role especially when disease becomes advanced and any loss of additional visual field can cause a threat to the quality of life for a patient. In addition to this, it helps your doctor also determine the best type of intervention available that is most suited to your condition.

Is the test painful?
The visual field test is not painful at all. It does, however, require your concentration and a technician who understands how this test should be conducted. Our technicians at The Eye Center are skilled at conducting these tests and participate regularly in workshops and training to better understand the advancements taking place in testing strategies. Our machines have multiple strategies that can be used for the stage and intensity of disease. We use the most advanced machines and software programs available anywhere in Pakistan.

How is the visual field test done?
One eye is tested at a time and the machine will show you targets of light, of varying intensity, that will present themselves in different areas of your visual field as you focus straight ahead at a specific point. The machine has very intelligent software and will retest specific areas of your visual field so as to alert the examiner and your doctor if the test you have done is an accurate representation of your visual field or it is prone to errors. The test is easy and young children who understand directions or play computer games and adults of any age group who can be seated in a chair for a short duration are able to do the test. In addition to this our machines are wheelchair compatible to permit easy testing for our patients with special needs.

What is Optic Disc Photography and is it important in glaucoma?
Optic disc photography is an examination that allows us to take a picture of the optic nerves of patients as well as the ability to take pictures of the surrounding retina. These pictures provide an objective means of documenting your optic nerves so that no matter who is looking at you over the years they have a record of how your eye looked at a particular point in time. This helps to understand if your disease is stable or changing and also how it is responding to the treatments that are being given to you. In a time in which people move cities and continents, this ability to document the state of condition of the eye is extremely useful for both the patient and the doctors who are treating them.

Is Advanced Digital Imaging or Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) of the optic nerve and the retina helpful in glaucoma?
This test called Optical Coherence Tomography allows your doctor to look in detail at not only the optic nerve but also the area surrounding the optic nerve and also the areas of the retina that have cells that are impacted earliest due to glaucoma. In addition to this, this particularly advanced means of testing the eye allows your eye specialist to determine the changing health of your optic nerve and retina to pick up not only glaucoma but also the presence of other diseases that may negatively impact your vision should they go undetected. Due to the advanced nature of these test, your eye specialist is often able to pick up disease well before it causes loss of vision. This gives your doctor an opportunity to safeguard every bit of your eyesight. At the Eye Center we used the most advanced Glaucoma Premium Module on the spectral domain Heidelberg OCT machine to best understand your specific disease and ensure that any progression or worsening is picked up and halted right away. The machine and its continuously updated software allow us, in addition to the hard copies we generate on site, to store and back up your tests, so that we retain the ability to compare them even if you forget to bring your previous testing information.

 

Are corneal thickness measurements of any value in glaucoma?
Yes, it has been known that thinner corneas are an independent risk factor for worsening in glaucoma patients and hence their measurement is of value in understanding the risk of worsening in a glaucoma patient. At The Eye Center, we use the updated equipment using the Haag Streit Lenstar LS 9-00 to evaluate not only the corneal thickness but also several other parameters of your eye that are specific to you and help us understand what we need to help preserve your eyesight for decades to come.

What is corneal Hysteresis and can it be measured in Pakistan?
Corneal Hysteresis is a biomechanical property of the eye and is best understood as a shock absorbing capacity of the eye that buffers the optic nerve from vacillations in intraocular pressure. The Eye Center is the only facility in Pakistan that has the Reichert ORA or Ocular Response Analyzer that gives a corneal corrected value for intraocular pressure by measuring corneal hysteresis for a patient. This quick and painless test aids your doctor in assessing if you are at higher risk for worsening of your glaucoma and helps also understand the true level of intraocular pressure in your eye. We know that in this time, many of our patients may have had LASIK or other vision correcting procedures done in the past and these figures can lead to an artificial lowering of the pressure that is measured on standardized intraocular pressure lowering machines. These inaccurate but seemingly low pressures can cause patients to not be treated and allow worsening of their disease. The ability to check for corneal hysteresis allows us not to miss any patients who may be at higher risk due to these and other factors and also helps prevent overtreatment in others.

Should you or anyone you know need to be evaluated for glaucoma, please email us at mail@surgicaleyecenter.org or call us at +923028291799, +923008933377, +923000822218 or +92 21 35836713

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