Olathe, KS -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/28/2014 -- Galbrecht Eyecare in Olathe, Kansas announced today the addition of a cutting edge new technology that promises to revolutionize the detection of glaucoma. The Zeiss Glaucoma Detection with Variable Corneal Compensation (or GDx VCC) performs a non-obtrusive scan of a patient's retina to measure the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFl) without the need to dilate the eye. Changes in the thickness of the nerve layer is an early indicator of glaucoma. The GDx VCC assesses the eye from both a structural and functional point of view and detects structural changes in the retinal nerve fiber layer. This helps to detect early signs of glaucomatous structural damage.
In a healthy eye, a clear fluid called aqueous humor circulates inside the front part of the eye. To keep healthy eye pressure, the eye constantly produces a small amount of aqueous humor while the same amount of the fluid leaves your eye. With glaucoma, the aqueous humor does not leave the eye properly, raising fluid pressure in the eye. Over time, this causes damage to the optic nerve fibers. This can cause irreversible loss of vision. Because it progresses so gradually, more than half of people with glaucoma aren't aware they have it until significant vision has already been lost. If detected and treated in its early stages, blindness can almost always be prevented.
While older glaucoma tests measured eye pressure or the effect that glaucoma had on the patient’s overall visual field, the GDx uses a type of scanning laser to measure the thickness of the RNFl. This increases the likelihood of catching signs of glaucoma early enough to make a real difference for patients.
Before the GDx there was also no way of digitally scanning the fundus to look for subtle changes. Eye doctors relied solely on the patient’s symptoms and other test results to decide if the current treatment regimen was working. Dr. Galbrecht relates, “Patients with glaucoma appreciate this test because they can see if there are changes from one visit to the next. This indicates whether the current medication regimen is working or not, and allows the doctor to shift treatment accordingly if necessary”.
When asked to cite an example of how the GDx has already begun to help her patients, Dr. Galbrecht had the following to say: “I had a patient who was having trouble seeing as well as she thought she should. She was seeing halos around lights and had blurred vision. She was also having headaches and nausea, although she didn't realize that these were connected to her eye condition. She also had no family history of glaucoma or indications of high risk. Soon after the new technology arrived, we tested her as a precaution, without suspecting that we would see anything out of the ordinary. After looking at the pictures, graphs and statistical data provided by the GDx, we were able to detect indications of glaucoma and treat her accordingly. Because we caught it early, I am happy to say that she is doing very well. It is not at all clear it would have turned out this way without the GDx.”