Glaucoma affects three million Americans, but half of them don’t realize they have it.
If left untreated, glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss and even blindness.
Now a new app is giving doctors a way to help patients spot early signs.
This is not your standard eye test.
Instead researchers are testing an application which can illustrate what a glaucoma patient sees.
“If you see pictures on the internet, you would just see like glaucoma being seen as visual fields effects which are like blacked out,” said Meghal Gagrani, MD, Glaucoma Fellow at University of Nebraska Medical Center.
In patients that researchers tested, what they actually saw was quite different.
“All of our patients recorded what they see as a blur in that visual field,” said Dr. Gagrani.
Typically patients think of glaucoma as dramatic, where the peripheral vision is completely gone, but that’s not always the case.
“By the time a glaucoma patient sees a physician, almost 50 to 70 percent of them have moderate to severe visual field loss which they’re not aware of,” said Dr. Gagrani.
That’s because their central vision could still be 2020. But with this app, patients can see what can be affected when their peripheral vision starts to become unclear.
“They would have problems seeing a dog crossing the road or a child the road. So it’s important to educate our patients to be able to recognize them,” said Dr. Gagrani.
So patients like Marcia Jensen can do things now to keep her vision from getting worse.
“From my glaucoma, I take eye drops morning and evening,” said Marcia Jensen, Patient.
Jensen also takes special precautions to protect everyone around her.
“I don’t drive at night,” said Jensen.
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