Free glaucoma screenings are being offered at some Iowa eye clinics this week as part of National Glaucoma Month. Glaucoma is a disorder that damages optic nerves and, left untreated, can result in blindness. Dr. Beth Triebul, an optometrist in Urbandale, says it’s important to have your eyes checked.
People who have a family history of glaucoma are at a higher risk of getting it themselves. Also, if you’re over 65 years old or have diabetes, you may be more likely to have it. Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness worldwide and an estimated three-million people have glaucoma, but only half of them know it. Just like we have a blood pressure, we have a fluid pressure within our eyes. Dr. Triebul says the quick, painless test checks that pressure.
“Basically, it’s a very simple procedure,” Triebel says. “We use an instrument that uses a puff of air to bounce off the surface of the eye and from reading that air, we can tell what the pressure is in the eye.” If glaucoma is confirmed in its early stage, she says it’s fairly easy to ward off.
Based on the screening, further tests would be performed to determine if it is glaucoma, which Triebel says is very treatable usually just with daily eyedrops. Triebel’s office, Vision Park Family Eye Care in Urbandale, is offering the screenings. Call for an appointment at (515) 720-3615. To find other Iowa offices near you, visit the Iowa Optometric Association website.